Many clients who come into our office are first offenders. In Pennsylvania, a well trained Criminal Defense Lawyer may be able to avoid a trial and get the client accepted to a special first offender program called ARD. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. In most cases, if we can get you accepted to the program, you will be asked to go on temporary probation, pay a fine, and complete some community service. If you complete the program successfully, then the case against you will be dismissed.
ARD is a great option when it’s appropriate, but there are some concerns. First, many less experienced lawyers automatically go for ARD in cases which could otherwise be beaten. This is extremely unfortunate as you can only get ARD once in your life in Pennsylvania, and it’s ridiculous to waste it on a case that can be dismissed through other means that simply require higher skill and more experience. Second, getting through the ARD process is often more complicated than it seems to the inexperienced attorney.
We have represented countless clients through the ARD program in Philadelphia, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Bucks County. Each county has different rules, unique intricacies and different people making the decisions. We believe it makes a difference that we’ve gotten to know the decision makers and their processes. If you need an experienced pennsylvania lawyer to help you with ARD, please call us immediately at (610) 566-1006.
ARD is often appropriate for people with no criminal record who have been charged with DUI, possession of drugs, retail theft, petty theft, simple assault, and other low grade misdemeanors in Pennsylvania.