Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD)
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD) is a special pre-trial intervention program for non-violent offenders who have limited or no prior record. While these offenses are not considered less serious than other crimes, candidates who are admitted into the Program are closely screened by the District Attorney’s Office to prevent admission of inappropriate individuals. Most (roughly 90%) of the people in the ARD Program have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or a Controlled Substance.
As the name connotes, the ARD Program is “rehabilitative” in focus rather than punitive. The aim of the program is to intervene at an early state, so that remedial steps can be taken to prevent future incidents of a similar nature. Defendant’s in the program are “fast-tracked” into the Chester County DUI Program alcohol education classes as well as treatment if it is recommended. This early intervention facilitates the offenders receiving the help they need as soon as possible, which contributes to the public safety.
Offenders may also be ordered to complete varying amounts of Community Service as a condition of the Program. The defendant’s operator’s license will be suspended for varying periods, less than the 1-year suspension required after conviction. After successfully completing the program, the ARD offender may petition the Court to have the charges dismissed and the case expunged. If the offender does not comply with the conditions of the Program, he or she may be removed from the Program and the case will be placed back on the trial list.