If you are facing a first offense DUI charge in the state Pennsylvania you may be offered an alternative to the traditional criminal court case and that is the PA ARD program. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition and it is a program that is unique to Pennsylvania DUI law.
The ARD program was implemented by the state of Pennsylvania in the 1980’s as a means to accelerate the court process in criminal cases such as first offense DUI’s that would not jeopardize the general public’s safety if the defendant were allowed back on the streets.
By admitting first time PA DUI offenders into the ARD program the state of Pennsylvania is able to avoid lengthy court proceedings and the defendant is able to have their DUI expunged from their criminal record once they complete the ARD program.
Who is eligible for the ARD Program?
Only first time DUI offenders may be eligible for the ARD program. The district attorney makes the decision as to whether or not a person will be admitted into the ARD program. Just because you are facing a first offense DUI charge does not mean that you are automatically admitted into the ARD program.
You will not be eligible for the ARD program if your DUI caused serious injury to anyone other than yourself or if there was a fatality involved. You will not be admitted into the ARD program if you had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time of the DUI stop. If either scenario applies in your case, you will have to go through the criminal court system for the DUI.