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Bucks County ARD Application

Town Law Publishing May 28, 2024


Understanding the ARD Program in Bucks County, PA

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program in Bucks County, PA, offers a second chance to first-time, non-violent offenders to avoid a criminal conviction. This brief overview covers the program’s eligibility, application process, and conditions.

Overview of the ARD Program

The ARD program is designed to rehabilitate offenders, allowing them to avoid the stigma of a criminal record. Successful completion of the program leads to the dismissal of charges and potential expungement from the offender’s criminal history.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the ARD program in Bucks County, defendants must:

  • Waive their preliminary hearing.

  • Have no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions and no pending charges.

  • Never have been placed on ARD or its equivalent.

  • Not be charged with violent crimes, offenses involving deadly weapons, or specific serious offenses.

  • If charged with DUI, not have been involved in an accident causing injury or significant property damage, not have a child under 14 in the vehicle, and meet other specific conditions.

Application Process

The application process involves several steps:

  1. Waiver and Entry Forms: Defendants and their attorneys must complete the Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Arraignment Form.

  2. Fingerprinting: Defendants must be fingerprinted.

  3. Submission: Submit the ARD application form, along with the waiver forms, to the Magisterial District Court on or before the preliminary hearing date.

Conditions of the ARD Program

If accepted into the ARD program, defendants must:

  • Complete a term of probation, usually between six and twelve months.

  • Perform a minimum of 24 hours of community service.

  • Pay court costs and any restitution.

  • Comply with any special conditions, such as attending Alcohol Highway Safety School for DUI offenses.

DUI-Specific Guidelines

For DUI cases, specific BAC levels dictate different probation lengths, community service hours, and license suspensions:

  • BAC 0.08%–0.099%: 6 months probation, 16 hours community service, no license suspension.

  • BAC 0.10%–0.159%: 12 months probation, 24 hours community service, 30-day license suspension.

  • BAC 0.16% or higher, drugs, accident with injury, or refusal: 12 months probation, 32 hours community service, 60-day license suspension.

  • Minor (under 21 years): 12 months probation, 24 hours community service, 90-day license suspension.

Completion and Expungement

Successful completion of the ARD program allows the defendant to file for expungement to remove the offense from their criminal record. This does not happen automatically and requires proactive steps by the defendant.

Contact Information

For more details or to apply for the ARD program, contact: 215-307-5504

The ARD program offers a valuable opportunity for eligible offenders to rehabilitate and clear their record, emphasizing a commitment to personal accountability and community responsibility.