ARD: Montgomery County Court

Specific requirements for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program eligibility vary from county to county. To be eligible for ARD in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, generally you must be charged only with a less serious misdemeanor and be a first-time offender. First offense DUIs are typically eligible for ARD.  Despite myths to the contrary, Montgomery County does not require that a candidate for ARD waive his or her Preliminary Hearing or apply at the Preliminary Hearing.  The District Attorney’s Office has suggested in the past that whether a Defendant waives her Preliminary Hearing or not may be a factor considered in whether or not ARD will be approved.  Certain other circumstances may preclude participation in the program. Examples of circumstances that may preclude ARD include an accident that injured another person, a prior DUI offense (especially within the last ten years), a child under 14 years of age in the car, a victim who objects to ARD, or other aggravating circumstances at the District Attorney’s discretion.  If you do not meet the criteria for acceptance into the ARD program, or the District Attorney’s ARD Chief chooses to exercise discretion to deny your application, you can ask for Reconsideration of that decision.  If the Chief of the ARD unit refuses to reconsider his decision then you can appeal to the First Assistant District Attorney and then to the elected District Attorney.  We have experience with this process and have successfully advocated for a change of decision where the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office initially rejected an application for ARD.  Fairlie & Lippy, P.C. attorneys have represented hundreds of clients through the Montgomery County ARD process and are intimately familiar with the program – we will maximize your chances of being accepted into the ARD program.