One common method to negotiate DUI charges, and some other charges, is to participate in an ARD program or an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. These programs are common for individuals who have faced their first ever DUI offense. County courts may allow them to participate in an ARD program. ARD programs serve as an alternative to a conviction so long as a person properly participates in the program, and fulfills their obligations. Although participation in an ARD does not normally count as a conviction, a person's arrest record will continue to exist. Contrary to popular belief, these records do not simply disappear once a person has completed their ARD, instead, these records must be expunged.
What is an ARD Program?
An ARD is an alternative to facing a conviction for first-time offenders. These are commonly used for DUI. A person must meet certain eligibility requirements to participate in an ARD program. ARD participation does not count as a conviction, however, if a person faces charges once more in their lifetime, their participation in the program may count as a conviction. ARD programs are often similar to parole or probation situations.
Expunging an ARD in Pennsylvania
When a person wishes to expunge an ARD in Pennsylvania, they must file with the county court that the offense arose in. A person must conduct an expungement filing for their arrest record. A person's likelihood of obtaining an expungement depends on both their ability to complete the program and their overall eligibility. A person can immediately be eligible for an expungement of their ARD record upon completion of their program provided that they are not facing additional charges.
In rare cases, a judge may order for an expungement as soon as a defendant has completed the ARD program. In some cases, the district attorney can object to the expungement as well, which can become a complicated matter. The motion may need to be defended in court.
Pennsylvania Expungement Attorney
When a person wishes to file an expungement for their ARD program records, it can prove a daunting task. Filing for an expungement can be complicated and difficult for a person who is inexperienced in the court system. While a person may file without an attorney, doing so can present a high likelihood for error. A filing done in error can potentially lead a person to have to start from the beginning, or suffer delays. An attorney can help a person conduct a filing for their expungement. Attorneys handling a person's expungement can reduce the likelihood of error and also delays.
If you or a loved one is seeking an expungement in Pennsylvania, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.