No one wants to have a drunk driving offense on their record. A DUI can affect a person’s insurance rates, employment opportunities and reputation, not to mention the fact that it can also lead to massive fines and a jail sentence.
However, people who successfully complete the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, or ARD, can avoid or minimize these penalties. Below, we look more closely at this program and its benefit to people facing DUI charges in Pennsylvania.
What is ARD?
The ARD program is an intervention program in which people accused of certain offenses, including DUI, complete alcohol education classes, treatment and community service. Those who successfully complete the terms of the program are then eligible to have the charge against them dismissed and expunged from their record.
The purpose of ARD is to give people the opportunity to avoid harsh punishments for first offenses and to keep the offense off a person’s record. Oftentimes, rehabilitation and treatment are more effective at preventing repeat offenses than a heavy-handed jail sentence.
Who is eligible for ARD?
Eligibility for ARD depends on numerous factors, as noted in Pennsylvania ARD laws, and ultimately the decision is in the hands of the district attorney. That said, you may be eligible if you are accused of a relatively minor, non-violent offense like DUI, and if it is your first offense. Further, participants should be able show that they are likely to benefit more from treatment and rehabilitation than from punishment.
Talk to an attorney about your options for ARD
If you have been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, then you may be a candidate for ARD. To learn more about this option or to examine others that might allow you to minimize or avoid the harsh penalties of a DUI, it can be wise to consult an experience criminal defense attorney.