UPDATED: Jun 18, 2009

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I recently got charged with a DUI and I am a RN, I was wondering if I accept ARD will this go on my record and do I have to report this DUI to the State Board of Nursing? It was not a felony charge. Please help.

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition and it is a program that is unique to Pennsylvania DUI law.  By admitting first time DUI offenders into the ARD program the state of Pennsylvania is able to avoid lengthy court proceedings and the defendant is able to have their DUI expunged  (ie cleared) from their criminal record once they complete the ARD program.  This means that you can truthfully answer "no" if asked about a criminal conviction.  However, in this information age many times details of offenses still turn up even though they are not suppossed to. 

Also, just because you are eligible for the program does not mean you should automatically accept it.  You need to consult with an Exparienced DUI attorrney on this.  If they think that you stand a good chance of having the charges against you dismissed or reduced, it may not make sense for you to accept participation in the ARD program as an alternative to going to trial to fight the charge.

Additionally, if you are facing a first offense DUI charge and accept admittance into the ARD program versus going to trial and at anytime in the future you get arrested on another DUI charge, you will be charged as a repeat or habitual offender.  The ARD program is basically a one-time “get out of jail free card”, you only get one chance at the program, so if you stand a good chance of winning your case, you need to talk with your lawyer and consider all of your options before making your decision.

If you are accepted into the ARD program, it is very similar to being on probation for your DUI.  You will not have to serve any jail time for the DUI charge, but you will receive supervision for a period of two years while you are in the program.  As previously stated, if you complete the required conditions of the ARD program, the criminal DUI charges against you will be dropped; t will be as if you were never charged with DUI and you’ll have a clear record.

If you fail to fulfill any of the requirements of the ARD program, the DA will seek to have you removed from the program and if this happens you will be facing the original DUI charges that you were up against.  Noncompliance includes: not attending supervision meetings, failing to attend a court mandated DUI School, failing to pay any court ordered restitution, or otherwise violating any condition of your ARD program that is required by the court.

When you’re in violation of your ARD program, your original DUI charges will be reinstated and you will have to go to court. You’ll be prosecuted on the original charges and you will be sentenced if you are convicted of the original DUI charge.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area.  I am not familiar with ARD, but if it is a program that requires first time offernders to complete alcohol classes in exchange for a dismissal upon successful completeion, then you should take the deal as the charge will not be reported to on your record and you wont have to report it to the nursing board.  I would consult with a PA lawyer before taking the deal to confirm the contents of this email.

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