Pennsylvania has a diversionary program called accelerated rehabilitative disposition, or ARD. It is a form of probation that is not a conviction. If you successfully complete the ARD program, most offenses can be expunged. In some counties the ARD program will lead to an automatic expungement of the offense.
Am I ARD Eligible?
In Pennsylvania the county District Attorney’s office is in charge of the ARD program. It is a completely discretionary program and the District Attorney’s office never has to offer ARD if they do not want to. Most counties only offer ARD to first-time offenders with no prior criminal record. In some counties the District Attorney may offer ARD once for a DUI and another time for a non-DUI, but that is taken on a case-by-case basis.
Is there a Fee for ARD?
Absolutely. The Pennsylvania legislature allows the District Attorney’s office and the courts to each set administrative fees for the ARD program. Although the fees vary by county, many District Attorney offices use the ARD program to generate fees which are then used to administer the program. Fees can range from nothing up to several hundred or thousand dollars.
Can I get an ARD Expunged?
Usually you can get your ARD expunged. In some counties they will automatically process the expungement after succesful completion of the program.