Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program
The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program is supervised by the ARD Chief, who reviews criminal cases for potential admission. ARD is a unique program, approved by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, generally for first-time offenders who have no prior criminal convictions or prior ARD dispositions. The primary purpose of the ARD program is the prompt disposition of charges, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming trials and other court proceedings. The program is designed to recognize those offenders who are amenable to treatment and rehabilitation and effectively remove their cases from the criminal justice system, thereby freeing resources better used elsewhere.
Individuals who would like to be considered for admission into the ARD program must complete and submit a written application to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office as soon as possible following the preliminary hearing. The application may be emailed to ARD@montgomerycountypa.gov or sent by regular mail to:
COUNTY OF MONTGOMERY
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
COURTHOUSE, 4TH FLOOR
NORRISTOWN, PA 19404-0311
Generally, an individual must waive their preliminary hearing and formal arraignment to receive ARD. All parties involved with the case (i.e., police, victims) then have the opportunity to comment upon the application. If approved, the applicant is normally placed on probation, ordered to pay fines and costs and complete community service. Successful applicants are admitted into the ARD program by a Common Pleas Judge.
Upon successful completion of the ARD program, the applicant may petition the court to expunge their record. All cases are examined on an individual basis. ARD is a discretionary program managed exclusively by the Office of the District Attorney; therefore, the District Attorney is the sole authority as to who is approved for the ARD program. All facts and circumstances regarding the case are taken into account when reviewing the ARD application.
Questions may be directed to the ARD Unit at 610-278-3110.