Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition
Explanation of the Program: The primary purpose of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is to rehabilitate the offender, and secondarily, to promptly dispose of charges and to eliminate the need for costly and time-consuming trials and other court proceedings. This program is available to certain carefully screened defendants, typically first-time offenders who lend themselves to treatment and rehabilitation and who are unlikely to commit another crime. The District Attorney of Delaware County, upon application of a defendant through his or her counsel, may request the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County to accept a case for placement into the ARD Program.
A defendant may be considered for participation in the ARD Program if they have no history of prior delinquency or criminal activity or has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time before the commission of the present crime. Prior to the District Attorney’s recommendation for admission into the ARD program, the police officer involved with the case will have an opportunity to offer comments on whether the defendant should be considered for the program. The victim of the crime will also have the opportunity to submit a written victim impact statement detailing the physical, psychological and economic effects of the crime on the victim and the victim’s family. The District Attorney’s Office may also determine that there are other circumstances concerning the case or the defendant which disqualify the defendant from participation in the ARD Program. There is no right to participate in the ARD Program. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis and is solely within the discretion of the District Attorney.
Acceptance into and satisfactory completion of the ARD Program offers the defendant an opportunity to earn a dismissal and potentially an expungement of the offense from their criminal history. Expungement must be initiated by the defendant after the defendant’s successful completion of the ARD Program and does not automatically occur merely upon a defendant’s placement into and successful completion of the Program. Failure to satisfactorily complete the Program will result in removal from the Program and prosecution of the pending charges.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL ARD CANDIDATES
YOU MUST HAVE AN ATTORNEY
No application for admission to the ARD Program will be considered unless you are represented by an attorney. This is required in order to assure that your rights are protected. If you are without adequate financial resources to retain an attorney, you should immediately contact the Office of the Public Defender of Delaware County at (610) 891-4100. **PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE -WE CANNOT DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH YOU OR ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS**
YOU MUST WAIVE ARRAIGNMENT
To be considered for admission into the ARD Program, you and your attorney must complete the Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Arraignment Form, except for the Common Pleas Transcript Number. The Magisterial District Judge docket number and Common Pleas arraignment date is stated on the Subpoena for Arraignment form which you received from the District Court.
THE ENTRY OF APPEARANCE AND WAIVER OF ARRAIGNMENT FORM, ARD RULE 600 WAIVER FORM AND THIS FORM MAY BE PROVIDED TO YOU BY THE MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT JUDGE.
YOU MUST BE FINGERPRINTED
The name of the fingerprinting agency and the date you were fingerprinted must be stated on the Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Arraignment Form. If you have not been fingerprinted, you must be fingerprinted by the arresting agency, or your application into the ARD program will not be considered. You must take a copy of the Criminal Complaint with you in order to be fingerprinted.
COSTS FOR ALL ARD CANDIDATES
You must be prepared to pay a portion of the costs of the Program on the day of your official entry into the ARD Program unless there has been an agreement to the contrary with the District Attorney’s Office prior to the ARD placement date. In addition, state law mandates your payment of a monthly probation supervisory fee. This charge must be paid over the period of your supervision, however, it may be paid in full on the day of your ARD placement. The total costs of the program are APPROXIMATELY $1700.00 for Non-DUI cases and APPROXIMATELY $1900.00 for DUI cases. If restitution is made one of the conditions, you may be required to make a minimum monthly payment towards restitution first, before costs and fees. By Order of Court, payment must be by cash, money order, MasterCard, Visa or MAC. All fees and costs of the ARD Program must be paid before Probation is terminated unless any portion thereof is waived by the District Attorney or the Court.
CONDITIONS OF THE PROGRAM
Upon receiving your ARD application, the District Attorney’s Office will review it and make a determination regarding ARD eligibility. If the application is denied, the reason (s) will be provided, and the case will be sent to a trial team where it will proceed on that track.**
If the application for ARD is accepted, the conditions for ARD will be set forth in a letter to your attorney. These conditions will include a term of probation, the number of hours of community service required, the amount of restitution, if applicable, and any special conditions, courses, or evaluations required. Your ARD hearing will proceed on the PTC date, or on the next listing following notification that you have been accepted into the program.
You may arrange your own community service by utilizing our CS Application/Approval Form, which you can download here. Please follow the directions on the form, so that your service activity will be approved promptly.
Contact information for ARD obligations:
- Undergo CRN Evaluation by calling (610) 892-3226.
- Complete the required community service hours.
- Please obtain a list of Community Service organizations and the required approval form from your attorney or from the ARD Unit of the District Attorney’s Office. You may download the approval form from this webpage. Please use this form to get your community service location approved
- Complete Alcohol Safe Driving Classes ONLINE: www.highwaysafetycentral.com
- Undergo Drug and Alcohol Evaluation – if required by ARD order or Probation, please arrange through Adult Probation and Parole.
Once the defendant is formally placed on ARD, the official probationary period will commence. Probation may be between six months and two years, but in most cases will be twelve months. The defendant will be expected to comply with all conditions recommended by Probation, and make regular monthly payments towards the fees and costs of the ARD program, as well as any remaining restitution, if s/he has not made full payment already. If a monthly restitution amount is specified, the defendant will be required to pay that every month, and failure to do so may result in removal from the ARD program.
**If the case is already assigned to a trial team, please submit the ARD application at least two weeks in advance of the next court date if the only witnesses for the Commonwealth are experts or in law enforcement, and longer if there is a civilian victim involved.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL ARD APPLICANTS:
WAIVE FORMAL ARRAIGNMENT
– 14 DAYS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED ARRAIGNMENT YOU MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING TO: DELAWARE COUNTY COURT ADMINISTRATOR
COURT HOUSE, MEDIA, PA 19063 (610) 891-4493
- Attorney’s Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Arraignment Form
- ARD Rule 600 Waiver Form
- ARD Application (this form)
WAIVE RULE 600 AND SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS FROM THE DATE OF FORMAL ARRAIGNMENT THROUGH THE PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE DATE
PARTICULAR GUIDELINES FOR DUI APPLICANTS. MINIMUM DISPOSITIONS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- TIER I: BAC 0.08%–0.99%: 12 months probation, 16 hours Community Service, no license suspension
- TIER II: BAC 0.10%–0.159%: 12 months probation, 24 hours Community Service, 30-day license suspension
- TIER III: BAC 0.16% or higher, drugs, an accident with bodily injury or refusal: 12 months probation, 32 hours Community Service, 60-day license suspension
- MINOR (UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF THE OFFENSE): 12 months probation, 24 hours Community Service, 90 days license suspension
*Additional Community Service hours may be required depending on particular facts of each case.
In DUI cases, a defendant is INELIGIBLE for ARD if any of the following conditions apply:
- Prior DUI conviction or DUI ARD within 15 years, or two or more such dispositions regardless of how old.
- Crash where someone other than the defendant sustained serious bodily injury
- Defendant left the scene of a crash with an occupied vehicle
- Child(ren) under 14 years of age in the defendant’s vehicle
- The defendant is uninsured and has a prior history of license suspensions for non-insurance
- Defendant’s actions seriously endangered another person
- A civilian victim is not in agreement with ARD
- Any non-DUI ARD, felony adjudication, or criminal conviction within 10 years
In Non-DUI cases, the following circumstances will cause the defendant to be INELIGIBLE for ARD:
- ARD, felony adjudication or criminal conviction within the past 10 years;
- Any violent felony, or case in which death or serious bodily injury has occurred;
- Any case in which a child or vulnerable adult was the victim or that involved ethnic intimidation;
- Sexual offenses, domestic abuse, kidnapping, human trafficking, and hazing;
- Drug manufacturing, sale, or possession with intent to distribute;
- Any case in which a firearm was used or possessed;
- Robbery, arson, residential burglary;
- Theft in cases where the value of the property exceeds $10,000;
- Obstructing governmental operations, witness intimidation, threats to public safety; and
- Animal cruelty
This list is intended to convey the general policy guidelines of the District Attorney’s Office and to prevent the filing of ARD applications that are clearly outside of those. Every ARD application is reviewed on its own merits, and approval or denial for placement in the ARD program is solely within the discretion of the District Attorney.
IF THE SERVICES OF AN INTERPRETER ARE NEEDED FOR THE ARD HEARING, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE APPLICANT AND/OR HIS/HER ATTORNEY TO ARRANGE FOR THOSE SERVICES.
THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED LEGIBLY; DO NOT LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS BLANK
When completed, this application, the Waiver of Arraignment/Entry of Appearance Form and ARD Rule 600 Waiver Form must be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled formal arraignment to:
Office of Court Administrator
Delaware County Court House
201 West Front Street
Media, PA 19063