In Pennsylvania, ARD is a diversion program that allows many first-time offenders to avoid having to defend criminal allegations at trial or enter a guilty plea. (In another article, we refer to ARD as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.) A question frequently asked by many people who have never before faced criminal charges is whether ARD is just for allegations of DUI. Many people ask me whether charges like theft, false reports, trespass or minor drug offenses can be resolved with ARD, too. The good news is that if you are charged with any of the these offenses and you have no criminal record, you might be eligible for the diversion program that allows first-time, non-violent offenders to avoid a conviction and have your record of arrest expunged upon successful completion of supervision (much like probation) and payment of all court costs. and any restitution.
They only catch is that you must meet the eligibility requirements of the ARD program in the county where the charges were filed against you. Whether you are eligible for ARD depends on your criminal history, the nature of the allegations, the particular facts of your case, and the policies of the District Attorney. Many non-violent offenses can be resolved without a conviction for people who have little or no criminal history in all of the counties here in northwest Pennsylvania. If you have either no criminal history or, in some cases, only a minor criminal history, you may be eligible for ARD.
If you have never been in trouble but recently were charged with retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, trespass, forgery, drug paraphernalia, a violation of the Pharmacy Act or other non-violent offenses, call Erie lawyer, Tim George, to discuss your eligibility for ARD at (814) 835-0400. We defend people accused of criminal offenses in Erie, North East, Edinboro, Girard, Warren, Franklin, Oil City and Meadville, Pennsylvania.