Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD)
ARD Program in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
If you have been arrested for DUI—driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance—for the first time, Pennsylvania’s unique Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program, a pre-trial intervention program for first time non-violent offenders in Bucks County, may be an option for you. As a premier criminal defense law firm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, The Law Office of Sharif N. Abaza can help you understand the ARD Program in Bucks County.
What does ARD mean?
It is designed to get an offender the help they need quickly, in an effort to prevent future offenses.
The focus is not on punishing you, but on providing rehabilitation through alcohol education courses and treatment.
Your license will be suspended, but generally for a shorter period than is required if you have been convicted of DUI. You may also be required to perform community service.
Is ARD for everyone?
The Bucks County Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is not for everyone. Whether or not you are accepted into the Bucks County ARD program depends upon whether you meet specific criteria. You will only be considered for ARD if you must be a first time offender with no prior criminal activity. You are not a first time offender if you have ever been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony crimes in this or any other state or jurisdiction, including military tribunals, or if you have ever been placed on ARD or its equivalent in this or any other state or jurisdiction. Only non-violent offenders will be considered for ARD. As your ARD attorney, Sharif Abaza will clearly communicate what you can expect and whether ARD is the appropriate option for you.
Admission into the ARD program is at the discretion of the District Attorney
Admission to the ARD program is at the discretion of the District Attorney of the county in which you were arrested for DUI. If you lack familiarity with the criminal justice system, legal assistance with this process is advisable. It is essential that your effort to enter the ARD program in Bucks County be facilitated properly. Consult with Sharif Abaza, an experienced DUI ARD lawyer in Bucks County and former Deputy District Attorney, in the early stages of your case to evaluate any potential issues before applying for the ARD program.
ARD in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is not a “get out of jail free” card. It is important that you are serious about completing the requirements. Failure to comply with all of the rules and conditions can have very serious consequences. For example, if you fail to attend the mandatory alcohol education courses, you will be removed from the ARD program and the District Attorney will have your case put back on the trial list with the original charges. Also know that if you are arrested for DUI at any time within the following ten years, you will be considered to have a prior conviction and face increased mandatory sentence requirements.
A Fresh Start and a Second Chance
Many people consider ARD an opportunity to make a “fresh start” or to get a “second chance” after they made the bad choice to drink and drive. As an experienced ARD attorney in Bucks County, Sharif Abaza has been successful in getting many clients admitted into the Bucks County ARD program. If you complete the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program successfully, charges can be dismissed and the record of your case can be expunged. In this age of employment background checks, it could mean the difference between advancing and derailing a career.