Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.)
In certain situations, persons charged with crimes may pursue admission into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program rather than taking their case to trial or entering a guilty plea. This is a discretionary program with varying procedures established by each county Office of District Attorney.
The primary purpose of this program is the rehabilitation of the offender. Additionally, it promotes judicial economy through the prompt disposition of charges, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trials or other court proceedings. Ordinarily the defendants eligible for the ARD program are first-time offenders who lend themselves to treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment and whose crime charged is relatively minor. The program is intended to encourage offenders to make a fresh start after participation in a rehabilitative program and offers them the possibility of a clean record if they successfully complete the program.
Upon acceptance into the program, offenders must complete all conditions of the program to earn dismissal of their charges. These conditions may include probation, drug and alcohol treatment, safe driving classes, community services and payment of costs and restitution. Failure to complete any of the conditions will result in removal from the program and prosecution on the underlying charges.
No matter the situation, you are not guaranteed acceptance into ARD. Furthermore, persons are often erroneously denied the program a variety of reasons. If you are facing criminal charges, to assure you get ARD when it is appropriate, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Probation Without Verdict (P.W.V.)
First time drug offenders within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be eligible for a program known as Probation Without Verdict. This program allows for first time non-violent drug offenders to seek drug counseling and therapy along with having their criminal drug charge(s) expunged from their criminal record. Unlike ARD, you must plead Guilty in order to avail yourself of this disposition. However, upon conclusion of the program, your Guilty plea shall not be considered a conviction for any purpose whatsoever.
In order to determine if you qualify for the plea of Probation Without Verdict you need to speak with an attorney from AAAL – Allegheny Attorneys At Law, P.C. who will discuss the criteria to this program and if you qualify.