A Plain Language Summary of the Law

ARD:
ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) is a program generally available only to first time DUI offenders. However, there are exceptions where an individual charged with a crime other than DUI may be admitted into the program if he or she meets certain other eligibility requirements.

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. Call today for a FREE Consultation.

Brief Overview of ARD:
Section 3807 provides: Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a defendant charged with a violation of section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) may be considered for ARD, so long as none of the following have occurred:

(i) The defendant has been found guilty of or accepted Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition of a charge brought under section 3802 within ten years of the date of the current offense unless the charge was for an ungraded misdemeanor under section 3802(a)(2) and was the defendant’s first offense under section 3802.

(ii) An accident occurred in connection with the events surrounding the current offense and an individual other than the defendant was killed or suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the accident.

(iii) There was a passenger under 14 years of age in the motor vehicle the defendant was operating.

As a condition of admission into ARD, the Defendant needs to get evaluation and treatment, as follows:

(i) The defendant must attend and successfully complete an alcohol highway safety school established under section 1549 (relating to establishment of schools). A participating defendant shall be given both oral and written notice of the provisions of section 1543(b) (relating to driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked).

(ii) Prior to receiving Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or other preliminary disposition, the defendant must be evaluated under section 3816(a) (relating to requirements for driving under influence offenders) to determine the extent of the defendant’s involvement with alcohol or other drug and to assist the court in determining what conditions of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition would benefit the defendant and the public. If the evaluation indicates there is a need for counseling or treatment, the defendant shall be subject to a full assessment for alcohol and drug addiction in accordance with the provisions of section 3814(3) and (4) (relating to drug and alcohol assessments).

(iii) If the defendant is assessed under subparagraph (ii) to be in need of treatment, the defendant must participate and cooperate with a licensed alcohol or drug addiction treatment program.

(iv) The defendant must remain subject to court supervision for at least six months, but not more than 12 months..

The Defendant must also make restitution, pay fines, and get follow up treatment as set forth at greater length by statute. Call our Pennsylvania attorneys today for a free consultation!

ARD in Summary Cases

Admission into ARD In Summary Cases

We explain your rights and options concerning ARD in summary and non-summary cases. You should talk to an attorney to see how ARD might apply to your particular case involving DUI (drunk driving – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), assault, theft, drug crimes, burglary, robbery, abuse, harassment, or other crime.

CHAPTER 3. ACCELERATED REHABILITATIVE DISPOSITION (ARD)
PART A. Summary Cases

Rule 300. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in Summary Cases.
(A) Unless the District Attorney has elected, pursuant to paragraph(B)(1), that ARD in summary cases proceed in the Court of Common Pleas, ARD in summary cases shall proceed in the office of the proper issuing authority as provided in Rule 301.
(B) The District Attorney, by filing a certification with the President Judge, may:

(1) elect that ARD in summary cases proceed in the Court of Common Pleas pursuant to Rule 302; and/or

(2) designate certain classes of offenses or offenders, in addition to those statutorily excluded, that shall not be considered for summary case ARD.

(C) When a certification has been filed by the District Attorney pursuant to this rule, the president judge shall promulgate a local rule in substantially the following form:

RULE. SUMMARY CASE ARD.

The District Attorney has filed a certification pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 300, and:

1. has elected that ARD in summary cases shall proceed in the Court of Common Pleas pursuant to the procedures in Pa.R.Crim.P. 302; and/or

2. has designated the following classes of offenses and/or offenders, in addition to those which are statutorily excluded, as ineligible for summary case ARD:

(D) The President Judge of each judicial district shall formulate local procedures to provide uniformity within the judicial district for ARD in summary cases before the minor judiciary under Rule 301, and in the court of common pleas under Rule 302.

(1) The locally formulated procedures shall be in writing, filed with the clerk of courts, and served upon all judges handling summary case ARD in the Court of Common Pleas and upon all issuing authorities within the judicial district.

(2) The local procedures shall, at a minimum, establish:

(a) costs and administrative expenses taxable for summary case ARD;
(b) procedures for restitution;
(c) conditions of the program;
(d) record checking, record keeping, and reporting requirements;
(e) procedures requiring each issuing authority to submit a monthly report on the disposition of all the cases eligible for ARD to the official designated by the President Judge to compile such reports and monitor the cases; and
(f) procedures for completion or termination of the program.

ARD in Court Cases

Admission into ARD
Our Western Pennsylvania law firm handles ARD cases in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, including Beaver, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland, and Allegheny Counties. Below you will find the actual language of the Pennsylvania Statute concerning ARD in Court cases (non-summary cases) that was updated as of early 2010. You should talk to an attorney to see how ARD might apply to your particular case involving DUI (drunk driving – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), assault, theft, drug crimes, burglary, robbery, abuse, harassment, or other crime.

CHAPTER 3. ACCELERATED REHABILITATIVE DISPOSITION (ARD)
PART B. Court Cases

Rule 310. Motion for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.
After criminal proceedings in a court case have been instituted, the attorney for the Commonwealth may move, before a judge empowered to try court cases, that the case be considered for accelerated rehabilitative disposition.

Rule 311. Application Process and Notice of Motion by Attorney for the Commonweatlh.
(A) When accelerated rehabilitative disposition proceedings are initiated, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall advise the defendant and the defendant’s attorney of the attorney for the Commonwealth’s intention to present the case to an appropriate judge. Notice of the proceedings shall be given also to any victim or victims of the offense charged.

(B) Information or statements supplied by the defendant to the attorney for the Commonwealth in an ARD application shall not be used against the defendant for any purpose in any criminal proceedings except a prosecution based on the falsity of the information or statement supplied.

Comments to ARD Rules

Comments:

Our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys explain your rights and options for all cases in matters involving ARD Western Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides a “comment” section in regard to certain statues to explain the reasoning behind the law governing ARD in summary and non-summary cases.

Below please find the reasoning behind the Pennsylvania statue governing ARD. You should consult with an attorney to see how ARD might apply to your particular case involving DUI (drunk driving – driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), assault, theft, drug crimes, burglary, robbery, abuse, harassment, or other crime. Call our attorneys if you have any questions.

Summary Cases
The rules set forth in this Chapter govern the procedures with regard to Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in court cases and in summary cases. See Committee Report, 14 Pa.B. 3593 (10/6/84) and 554-557 A.2d (Pennsylvania Reporter Series), for discussion of the history of the use of pretrial diversion programs in Pennsylvania.

The primary purpose of this program is the rehabilitation of the offender; secondarily, the purpose is the prompt disposition of charges, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trials or other court proceedings. These rules contemplate that ordinarily the defendants eligible for the ARD program are first offenders who lend themselves to treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment and that the crime charged is relatively minor and does not involve a serious breach of the public trust. The program is intended to encourage offenders to make a fresh start after participation in a rehabilitative program and offers them the possibility of a clean record if they successfully complete the program. Because of the rehabilitative purpose of the program, and because the program permits prompt disposition of the charges, the descriptive title ‘‘accelerated rehabilitative disposition’’ was selected rather than such terms as ‘‘pre-indictment probation’’ or ‘‘deferred disposition.’’

The rules in this Chapter provide the procedural framework for the utilization of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition by the judges of the courts of common pleas in court cases and in summary cases, and by the minor judiciary in summary cases. These rules do not specify those classes of offenses or offenders that are eligible or ineligible for inclusion in the ARD program. In general, the district attorney has the responsibility for determining which cases will be recommended for entry into the ARD program. See Commonwealth v. Lutz, 495 A.2d 928 (Pa. 1985).

Recognizing the minor nature of summary offenses and that the various judicial districts have different administrative requirements for processing and disposing of ARD cases, the procedures in Rules 300, 301, and 302 were adopted in 1991 to provide each judicial district with the procedural mechanism to structure its own summary case ARD program, either before the minor judiciary or, when the local option is elected by the district attorney pursuant to Rule 300, in the court of common pleas. The statewide rules are intended to simplify the procedures for summary case ARD and to encourage prompt processing and disposition of cases considered for ARD.

In addition to the procedural aspects of ARD set forth in these rules, there are statutory provisions setting forth requirements related to ARD in certain specified classes of cases. See, e.g., Sections 1534, 1548, 1552, and 3731 of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § § 1534, 1548, 1552, and 3731, and § 1520(a) of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 1520(a).

Court Cases
Recognizing the minor nature of summary offenses, this rule provides the general, statewide procedural framework for implementing ARD in summary cases. It is intended that the president judge of each judicial district will establish procedures under paragraph (D) that are specific to summary case ARD within the judicial district consistent with this rule and with Rules 301 and 302. These procedures should encourage the prompt processing and disposition of summary cases considered for ARD.

The district attorney is responsible for designating which classes of offenses or offenders may not be considered for ARD in summary cases. This is accomplished, pursuant to paragraph (B)(2), by the district attorney’s filing a certification with the president judge. In addition, there may be classes of offenses or offenders that are statutorily excluded. See, e.g., Section 1520(a) of the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S. § 1520(a), which excludes cases charging offenses under Titles 34 and 75 from being considered for or included in the summary case adjudication alternative authorized by the statute.

Paragraph (A) provides that ordinarily summary case ARD will proceed before the minor judiciary. See Rule 301 for the general procedures in such cases. As an alternative local option, Rule 300 also authorizes the district attorney to elect that ARD in summary cases be removed to the court of common pleas for processing and disposition, and paragraph (B)(1) requires that the district attorney file a certification with the president judge to implement this election. See Rule 302 for the general procedures when this local option has been elected.

When a certification is filed, the president judge must promulgate the effectuating local rule. The local rule mechanism has the advantage of notice, publication, and recordation, which are inherent in the local rule process.

The district attorney (or a successor district attorney) may withdraw the election to move summary ARD consideration to the court of common pleas, and/or change the designation of classes of offenses or offenders that are not eligible for ARD, by filing a new certification. When a new certification is filed, the president judge must rescind or modify the local rule.

The president judge in each judicial district must formulate local procedures pursuant to paragraph (D) for the actual implementation of the summary case ARD programs in the court of common pleas or before the minor judiciary within his or her judicial district, thereby providing county-wide uniformity. These locally formulated procedures may include procedures that are in addition to those required by the Rules of Criminal Procedure to take into account the special nature and the special dispositional and administrative requirements of summary cases generally and specifically within the judicial district. For example, the costs imposed on a defendant who is admitted into a summary case ARD program should not be the same as the costs imposed on a defendant for ARD in a court case, but rather should be adjusted downward and kept minimal to reflect the minor nature of the summary case. The president judge, however, must implement without change the district attorney’s elections made pursuant to paragraph (B). See Commonwealth v. Lutz, 495 A.2d 928 (Pa. 1985).

This rule should not be construed as mandating new programs. Rather, summary case ARD programs may be established within the parameters of existing programs, and should be adapted to meet the needs of the defendants in summary cases. See, e.g., 42 Pa.C.S. § 1520(b).