Whether an individual is eligible for ARD is almost completely at the discretion
of the District Attorney. The District Attorney makes eligibility recommendations
to the court concerning each case. Some of the factors considered by District
Attorneys in deciding ARD eligibility are a person’s prior involvement
with the court system, whether and to what extent others have been harmed
by the instant offense, and any recommendations of the arresting officer.
The Pennsylvania legislature has stated that people charged with DUI may
not be placed into the ARD program if any of the following have occurred:
First, if the current DUI charged involved an accident and someone other
than the person charged was killed or suffered serious bodily injury.
Second, if there was a passenger in the vehicle who was under the age
of fourteen at the time of the offense. Third, if the defendant has been
found guilty of, accepted ARD (or another State’s equivalent of
the ARD program) within ten years of the date of the current offense.
(This limitation will not apply if the charge was for an ungraded misdemeanor
under 75 Pa. C.S.A. Section 3802(a)(2) and was the accused’s first
offense under Section 3802.)
Because every District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania has different
guidelines for ARD entry, it is recommended that you contact a knowledgeable
attorney as soon as possible.