ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. It is an alternative sentencing program offered by the state of Pennsylvania that may be available in criminal cases involving relatively minor offenses or people who are considered first-time offenders. These offenders can include those facing first-time DUI charges, depending on the seriousness of the offense in question.
Conditions of the ARD program include the ARD participant's agreement to:
- Fulfill all probation terms, with probation generally lasting up to about six months
- Fulfill all conditions, such as restitution to the involved crime victims
- Attend rehabilitative classes (drug, alcohol or other) if mandated
- Fulfill community service obligations
If you are involved in the criminal justice system for the first time and your offense is considered relatively minor, you may be eligible for the ARD program. You will need to apply for the ARD program, and the district attorney's office will review your case and decide if you are a suitable candidate. It may be helpful to discuss your situation with an attorney who understands the criminal justice system and the requirements for ARD.
Completing the ARD Program Seals Your Criminal Record
If you complete the conditions of the ARD program, your record will be sealed. This means that no one will be able to find out that you ever had a criminal record. However, if you do not fulfill the terms laid out when you joined the program, then you will be prosecuted for the initial charges.
What Is the AMP Program - Accelerated Misdemeanor Program?
The Accelerated Misdemeanor Program, or AMP, was developed as a way to streamline minor misdemeanor cases through the already clogged Pennsylvania criminal court system.
The types of cases that are generally diverted into this program typically involve:
- Retail theft
- Drug possession
- Solicitation of prostitution
- Other minor misdemeanor criminal offenses
AMP cases are generally nonviolent. Community service as opposed to prosecution and punishment is the focus in these cases. Social workers in the program will provide participants with services that include information about drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, housing and job opportunities.
Successful completion of the AMP program can result in a sealed record. However, failure to complete the program will result in a reinstatement of the charges.
Wonder If You're Eligible for ARD or AMP? Criminal Defense Attorneys in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Delaware Counties, PA
The attorneys at Parkinson, Tarpey & Lloyd can help you understand whether ARD or AMP is an option in your situation. Call to arrange a free, private consultation with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer at (215) 352-3432. We have been successful in handling hundreds of cases in which individuals were placed in ARD or AMP programs throughout Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties and similar programs in New Jersey. Our lawyers focus on criminal defense and have more than 40 years of combined experience.