If I am placed in the ARD program in my state, does that count as a conviction?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2013

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If I am placed in the ARD program in my state, does that count as a conviction?

Asked on December 3, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

ARD is considered a diversionary or "first time offender" program, designed to divert first time


offenders from entering the criminal justice system. When a first time offender is accepted


into the ARD program, the Commonwealth suspends the charges against the offender, but


requires that certain court-ordered conditions are followed. Such conditions may included drug


and alcohol counseling, community service, restitution, etc. Similar to a probationary program,


the ARD program requires a period of supervision.


Once the program is competed successfully, the original criminal charges are dismissed, and


the offender may, 30 days after completion of the program, request the court to expunge the


offender's arrest record and ARD participation. Bear in mind that the ARD records will always


be in the office of the District Attorney.


Answer: Once the program is completed successfully and the charge is dismissed under the ARD program, there is no criminal conviction.



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