Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD) is a pre-trial diversionary program provided by the Rules of Criminal Procedure. ARD suspends formal criminal proceedings before conviction on certain condition.
There is no specific offense or class of offenses eligible or ineligible for inclusion in ARD. The District Attorney has discretion to offer ARD to a defendant. The rules do require that the defendant waive the appropriate statute of limitations and the right to a speedy trial for the period of enrollment in the program.
Defendants must apply to enter the ARD program and be recommended by the District Attorney. The District Attorney is free to make his decision based upon what is most beneficial to society and the offender. The Court has to approve the defendant’s entry into the ARD program and set the conditions and requirements.
When a defendant satisfactorily completes the ARD program by complying with all of the conditions, the charges against the defendant are dismissed by order of the Court.