ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. It is a program for first time offenders charged with relatively minor crimes. In ARD instead of you choosing between trial on all charges, or pleading guilty to one or more of the charges, the Prosecutor offers to drop the charges after you successfully complete the probationary period which may include the payment of restitution.
In ARD you do not have to admit to committing a crime, but ARD requires that you give up your right to a speedy trial. The prosecution will give you a chance to earn dismissal of the charges, but will not give up its right to prosecute you if you fail to successfully complete the program, including payment of all fines and costs. The Court imposes a period of supervision upon you with some conditions to fulfill within a specified time period.
You cannot commit any new crimes. You may be required to submit to random urine tests to see if you are using illegal drugs. You will also be required to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, even if your charge does not involve alcohol. Successful completion requires your strict compliance with all conditions.
IF YOU VIOLATE ARD CONDITIONS THEN THE COURT WILL ISSUE AN ORDER SCHEDULING YOUR CASE FOR TRIAL. ALL ORIGINAL CHARGES WILL BE PROSECUTED AND YOU WILL COME BACK TO YOUR ORIGINAL TWO CHOICES OF EITHER GOING TO TRIAL OR PLEADING GUILTY.
Only the arrest record from this offense and the license suspension record if applicable will still exist. After successfully completing ARD you may request the court to order authorities to eliminate your arrest record. This is known as an expungement. The court may grant such a request, but it is not required to do so. The Public Defender Office does not prepare expungement requests. You must hire a private attorney for this.