Out of State Resident Readmitted to Philadelphia DUI ARD Program After Initially Failing to Complete ARD Conditions
A.C., an out-of-state resident who lived in Colorado, contacted me because of concerns with an old DUI ARD case in Philadelphia. A.C. had been able to be initially admitted into Philadelphia's ARD program, also known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Diversion, for a prior first-offense DUI charge. (A defendant generally has to be a first-time offender to be prospectively eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Diversion in Pennsylvania.) Due to personal circumstances beyond his control, A.C. unfortunately failed to complete the conditions of the ARD program after being admitted to the program several years earlier.
In addition, a significant amount of time had passed between A.C.'s inability to complete the conditions of his ARD and the present day; despite A.C. now being in a better position to be able to attend to those concerns. Another complicating factor was that in light of professional and personal goals that A.C. was now pursuing, there were legitimate concerns whether or not he would remain eligible for resolving his case through ARD because approximately seven years had passed without any follow up on his part. There was no question that A.C. had failed to abide by the expectations of the ARD program - The question was, "Would the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office allow re-admission to ARD after failing to comply?"
Is the agreement of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office necessary in allowing a defendant to be admitted (or re-admitted) to ARD?
The agreement of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is generally always required for Accelerated Rehabilitative Diversion admission (or re-admission when such extenuating circumstances arise). Because of this important consideration, I explained the circumstances and concerns to A.C. and indicated that the best first steps to take would be for me to follow up with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the Philadelphia Probation Department on his behalf.
With the goal of getting A.C. back in the authorities' "good graces," I first contacted and spoke with a personal colleague who is a Chief at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to explain A.C.'s circumstances and hopes of still being able to resolve his DUI case through the Philadelphia ARD program as initially had been anticipated, and especially in light of his present education and employment goals. I also spoke with a supervisor at the Philadelphia Probation Department. I suggested to both my colleague at the District Attorney's Office and the supervisor at the Probation Department that I could provide information and documentation that should help address any concerns regarding prospective re-admission to ARD and should provide a reasonable basis in allowing such reconsideration to take place.
Per my advice to A.C., I instructed him to obtain supporting documentation that would help with our request on his behalf. Such documentation was intended to demonstrate A.C.'s positive steps forward in life over the past several years (despite not following through with his ARD conditions) and included employment documentation, work references, character references, and a detailed explanation as to what he was specifically doing with his life at present, and also what his future goals were and how a criminal conviction and criminal record would negatively impact those goals.
Based on the submitted documentation and information, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office agreed to allow A.C. to complete his DUI case through the ARD program despite the prior issues with compliance.
Can a unsuccessful ARD case be "re-opened" to allow for potential successful completion of the ARD program?
Whether an unsuccessful ARD case will be "re-opened" will depend on the circumstances, but a defendant (and his or her attorney) will have to demonstrate that such a step is warranted; although not impossible, such a proposition will generally be difficult to accomplish. Thankfully, such a result was able to be obtained for A.C. based on it being demonstrated that A.C. was deserving of a second chance.
Because A.C.'s case had been administratively closed in light of his not following through with his court-ordered conditions of the ARD program, the Philadelphia Probation Department had to reopen his case after I was able to get the agreement of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office in allowing such a step to take place. Once A.C.'s ARD case was reopened, the remaining conditions, including alcohol highway safety school had to be completed. I was able to make arrangements with the Philadelphia Probation Department for A.C. to do so in Colorado in light of the fact that he lived out of state.
Can a DUI case that is resolved through ARD be expunged?
After all of A.C.'s ARD conditions were satisfied and we were able to provide documentation of such to the Philadelphia Probation Department, the Philadelphia Probation Department successfully closed A.C.'s case. The successful completion of A.C.'s ARD case allowed us to pursue an expungement in Philadelphia on his behalf for the DUI charge itself. In doing so, A.C. was able to continue moving forward in life and to continue working towards his goals for both himself and his family.
Attorney to Help with ARD Issues in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Whether your or your loved one's case involves a DUI charge, drug charge, or any other criminal offense in Philadelphia or out of county, attorney Joseph D. Lento has years of experience in helping clients successfully navigate and resolve difficult circumstances. Contact him today to learn how he can help.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense, DUI / DWI