ARD Program Allegheny County

Information on the ARD Program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Keeping Your License, Staying Out of Jail, and Getting Your Charges Dismissed / Expunged.

ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Diversion Program. The ARD Program is an “Alternative-to-Jail” or diversionary program that allows first-time offenders to seek rehabilitation and have the charges removed from their permanent record, as well as avoid jail time. 

If you received a first-time DUI charge, first-time drug charge, or were charged with certain types of non-violent crimes, like shoplifting/retail theft, in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for the ARD Program. 

Being charged with any crime is a serious offense and can wreck your future by limiting your options for employment, housing, college admissions, and automobile loans and insurance. The ARD Program is a second chance program that can help you keep your license or get it back quicker and keep any punishment to a minimum. 

Not everyone who applies for the program is accepted – an experienced Pittsburgh DUI and Drug Lawyer can help you get accepted into the ARD Program – Call Ketchel Law today for a free consultation about your criminal charges in PA


Our Number One Goal: Getting Your Criminal Charges Dismissed.



An Arrest is Not a Conviction.


What is the Pennsylvania ARD Program?

The purpose of the ARD program in Pennsylvania is mainly to help rehabilitate first-time DUI and drug offenders and keep them from serving jail time and receiving a permanent mark on their criminal record. Every county in Pennsylvania has different stipulations and processes – the attorneys at Ketchel Law are experienced in the procedures and requirements of all Western PA counties. 

Essentially, upon entering the program, you are given a number of requirements, usually completed while on a one-year probation, and upon successful completion of all the requirements, your charges are dropped and your record is available to be expunged.

Expungement means the offense will no longer be on your criminal record. However, you have to take extra steps to have your record expunged, even after completing the program—an experienced DUI and Criminal Lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA can help you with this process.

If you do not comply with the requirements of the ARD program, the district attorney can have you removed from the program and you will face your original DUI, drug or theft charges.

Admittance into the ARD program is completely at the discretion of the District Attorney’s office and it is not available to everyone – you have to apply for acceptance.

To find out if you qualify, seek the help of an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, who can better explain what to expect and the process of getting accepted into the ARD Program.

In addition, the ARD Program may not be the best choice for your particular case – for instance, if you face drug charges, you may also qualify for the Drug Court or Probation without Verdict programs.

Talk to Pittsburgh Drug Lawyer to fully understand all your options. Call Ketchel Law at 412-456-1221.

Meeting the Requirements of the ARD Program in Allegheny County

If you meet all of the qualifications and the District Attorney’s office accepts you into the ARD program, you will then have requirements to fulfill as part of the program. You may be mandated to attend drug and alcohol treatment, or if you were charged with DUI, to attend Alcohol Highway Safety School. You will also be required to attend meetings and pay any court-ordered restitution.

Additional requirements may be mandated depending on your specific case. The court can add any requirements that they deem necessary in order to aid in your rehabilitation process. Therefore, not every ARD participant will have the exact same set of requirements in order to successfully complete the program.

In exchange for following the program and completing the requirements, however, you are able to avoid jail time, lessen or avoid a license suspension, and you are eligible to keep your criminal record clean.

Requirements of the ARD Program may include:

  • One-year probation period;
  • Meeting with a program supervisor regularly;
  • Attending drug and/or alcohol counseling sessions;
  • Attending Alcohol Highway Safety School (for DUI charges);
  • Fulfilling community service;
  • Passing regular drug/alcohol tests that prove sobriety, and;
  • Paying all fines, court fees, and/or restitution;

In addition, participants of ARD: 

  • Must not use alcohol or drugs during the program, and;
  • Must have no further criminal charges while admitted to the program.

If you do not comply with the requirements of the Pennsylvania ARD program, the district attorney can have you removed and you will face your original DUI, drug or criminal charges.

Read about the specific requirements of the ARD program for first-time DUI defendants in PA


Our Number One Goal: Getting Your Criminal Charges Dismissed.



An Arrest is Not a Conviction.



Benefits of the ARD Program in Allegheny County

The ARD Program is hugely beneficial in keeping people out of jail and getting their license back sooner or never having it suspended in the first place. 

The other upside of being accepted into ARD is that you can later have the criminal charges expunged from your record and the charges dismissed. A criminal attorney can help you with the expungement process in Pennsylvania.

Not having a criminal record will affect your entire future – a public record will dampen job prospects, limit housing choices and inhibit so many basic opportunities. One mistake should not diminish your entire future. 

It is important to note that while completion of the ARD program allows for criminal record expungement, it does not remove it from the court records. For example, if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI offense, you will be charged with a second DUI and have to face the penalties for a second DUI conviction, not a first DUI conviction (if within a ten-year time frame).

Another benefit is that if you were charged with DUI, you could have your license suspension reduced as follows:

  • Possible license suspension through the ARD Program for a first DUI charge:
    • BAC .08-.99%: no license suspension
    • BAC .1—.16%: 1 month license suspension
    • BAC over .16%: 2 month license suspension

Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

Call Ketchel Law today: 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.

Our number one goal: Your DUI charges reduced or dismissed.

Call Ketchel Law today: 412-456-1221 for a free consultation.

How Ketchel Law Can Help

Attorney Justin Ketchel is a top Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer, Drug Attorney, and Criminal Defender in Pittsburgh, PA.  His team has extensive experience in handling DUI cases, drug charges, and many other crimes in Western Pennsylvania. 

His number one goal: Having your charges dismissed.

At Ketchel Law, we will do everything we can to minimize your expenses. You are never charged for phone calls or emails and your initial consultation is always free. We understand what you are going through and will tirelessly fight on your behalf to ensure that your arrest has a minimal impact on every aspect of your life. 

If you are not eligible for ARD, there may be other alternatives to jail and alternative sentencing options available. 

Call the Ketchel Law today at 412-456-1221. We take your case seriously and are committed to providing quality legal advice.

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