Philadelphia ARD Attorney

Admission into the ARD program is one of the only opportunities that first-time offenders have to evade serious legal repercussions in Pennsylvania. If you have been charged with a crime for the first time, it is important you learn about ARD and determine if you are eligible to apply.

For the purposes of this article, we will discuss (1) what this program entails, (2) the requirements that you will be obligated to fulfill when in the program and (3) how an attorney will help you get accepted.

What is ARD?

ARD, short for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, is an intervention pre-trial program that is offered for first-time criminal offenders. In special circumstances, it may be attainable to people with limited run-ins with law enforcement. ARD gives alleged perpetrators the chance to avoid strict penalties like the loss of driving privileges, jail time and the creation of a criminal record by completing the terms set by the program. The program offers admission to people who have acquired charges for non-violent and minor offenses such as driving under the influence, drug usage, drug possession. etc. Once a person has received acceptance, his or her case will usually be put on hold for the duration of a year, so that the courts may impose specific requirements that must be completed. If the requirements are fulfilled within the given time, a person's case will be dismissed and the criminal charges will be expunged from his or her criminal record.  (Depending on the nature of the case, ARD in Philadelphia generally will range from six months to two years).

Philadelphia's Requirements for ARD Program

If accepted into the state's ARD program, they delay your case with the impression that you will completely fulfill specific requirements within a given time. The program has intentions of making alleged perpetrators at times work hard for a dismissal and expunged charges by imposing requirements that must be fulfilled. After a court orders that a case will be handled by ARD, a person will immediately be placed on “supervision,” or an informal probation. This supervision is much like a probation period, however, it cannot officially be called probation since people in the program have not been found guilty and convicted of a crime. Once put on supervision, a probation officer from the Philadelphia Probation Department will be responsible for ensuring that you complete the requirements tasked to you and that you are following the regulations upheld by the program.

The requirements will likely vary based on the nature of a case. Here are some arbitrary duties that will be expected of individuals in the ARD program:

  • The completion of a driver's safety course (for Philadelphia DUI cases)
  • The completion of community service
  • Take drug tests that prove there is no drug or alcohol use
  • Paid restitution
  • The avoidance of run-ins with law enforcement or criminal charges while on supervision
  • Waiving the right to a speedy trial
  • A driver's license suspension(for most Philadelphia DUI cases resolved through ARD)
  • The completion of drug and alcohol counseling

Getting Into an ARD Program

Not everyone is allowed access to entry into the ARD program. Admission criteria are also not explicitly laid out by the program. However, due to an attorney's familiarity with the types of cases that are more likely to be accepted, they will be able to assess whether or not your case will be considered. If a legal professional reviews your case and concludes that it is likely you will be accepted, they will help you draft the strongest application possible and send it to the Philadelphia District Attorney's office. In some instances, and especially in matters where the likelihood that ARD will be approved are slim, an effective attorney will make the effort to personally get a defendant's ARD application into the hands of the best party at the Philadelphia District Attorney's to help with ensuring acceptance into the program. A cover letter will also be attached to this application, containing an attorney's detailed analysis of your situation and why you deserve a spot in the ARD program.

Philadelphia ARD Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a non-violent crime in Philadelphia, you may be eligible for entry into the ARD program. Contact skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento for help.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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