What if I’m Arrested While on ARD?
Every county handles ARD probation violations differently; however, a general violation of the program’s requirements can land you in hot water.
Even an arrest and new criminal charges without a formal conviction can revoke your ARD probation. You may return to court for your original case and additional charges.
What Is ARD?
ARD, also called the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, is a probation program that is an alternative to traditional criminal penalties. It is generally offered to first-time offenders with no prior criminal convictions and who have not previously participated in ARD.
The ARD program helps expedite the disposition of charges and eliminate costly and time-consuming trials. It saves resources for Pennsylvania and the defendant.
Eligible offenders for the ARD probation program must be willing to accept treatment and participate in rehabilitation to effectively move their cases away from the traditional criminal justice process.
It requires an individual to waive their preliminary hearing and formal arraignment instead of probation. Community service and fines are often included as well. When individuals complete the ARD program, they may request an expungement of their criminal record.
What Are the Conditions of ARD?
Each defendant completes ARD probation differently. ARD aims to rehabilitate the individual and reduce incidents of re-offense. Thus, if a person was charged with a DUI, they may be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and receive alcohol treatment and counseling.
Additionally, all ARD probation defendants must:
- Pay fines, costs, and restitution in full
- Report monthly or more often to a probation officer
- Comply with local, state, and federal criminal laws
- Notify their probation officer immediately if they are arrested
- Not create a danger to the community or themselves
- Seek permission from the ARD Coordinator before changing residence
- Make every effort to obtain and maintain employment
- Limit daily travel to adjoining counties
- Seek permission from the ARD Coordinator for travel outside of adjoining counties
- Cooperate in medical, psychological, or psychiatric examinations, tests, and treatments
- Notify the ARD Coordinator of any treatment or counseling
- Abstain from the unlawful possession, use, or sale of narcotics or other drugs
- Submit urine samples upon request
- Not own, use, or possess any type of lethal weapons or explosives
- Allow the probation department to search their person or place of residence without a warrant if they have reasonable suspicion
The court or ARD Coordinator may add specific conditions to each individual’s probation plan.
What Happens After an ARD Violation?
ARD programs include a contract regarding violations that the defendant must sign. For example, it might state:
“If I violate the rules and conditions of the ARD Program or am arrested on new criminal charges, the Montgomery County Adult Probation and Parole Department will return my case to the District Attorney’s Office coupled with the recommendation that my case be relisted for trial.”
Thus, if a defendant violates their ARD probation, their case will be returned to the DA. They will go to a hearing to determine if they violated their probation. They will be allowed to present defenses and work with an attorney. A judge will determine the outcome of the case.
Suppose it is determined that the defendant violated ARD probation. In that case, their case will be sent back to trial, and they will face traditional criminal penalties for their original and new charges.
What Are Some Defenses of an ARD Violation?
There are alternatives to being kicked out of the ARD probation program and defenses you can use at your hearing.
Alternatives to Being Kicked Out of ARD
If you violated your ARD, then you could seek re-admission. If your arrest did not result in new charges, you could petition to return to the ARD program. Every county has different procedures for returning to the ARD program.
If your ARD violation involved failure to pay fines or complete community service, you can ask for an extension of time to comply with the conditions. This may extend the length of your ARD probation, but it can prevent you from returning to trial.
Defenses for ARD Violation
If you are accused of violating your ARD probation, you can assert defenses to avoid being kicked out of the program. Some common defenses include:
- You did not travel outside of your allowed area
- You were not in possession of illegal drugs or weapons
- There was no reasonable suspicion to search your person or residence
- You attempted to notify your ARD Coordinator of the necessary information
Contact an ARD Violation Defense Attorney Today
If you face ARD violation charges, you must immediately contact an ARD violation defense attorney.