NEW PROGRAM

ACCELERATED REHABILITATIVE DISPOSITION IN SUMMARY CASES

(ARD)

See Reading Eagle news article dated 04/05/2014 - 2nd Chance Program

District Attorney John T. Adams has initiated a new program where if a defendant is charged with any of the following summary offenses, he/she shall be eligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) to be supervised by the Magisterial District Judge (MDJ) pursuant to Pa.R.CrimP. 300-302 and 42 Pa.C.S.A. Section 1520;

  • criminal mischief
  • criminal trespass
  • disorderly conduct
  • harassment
  • public drunkenness
  • retail theft
  • truancy
  • underage drinking

Procedures for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition in Summary Cases before the Minor Judiciary

1. The cost of the ARD program for summary cases is $100.00

2. The defendant shall make written application to the MDJ for admission into the summary ARD program.

a. Upon receipt of the application for admission into the summary ARD program, the MDJ shall forward to the District Attorney a copy of the defendant's application.

b. The District Attorney shall review said application and notify the MDJ of a decision to either approve or deny the application. If the District Attorney denies the application, the MDJ shall be notified of the reason(s) for denial.

3.  If the District Attorney denies the defendant's application, the MDJ shall notify the defendant that his/her application has been denied and the case shall then proceed in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. If the District Attorney approves the defendant's application, the MDJ shall notify the defendant of such approval and shall set a hearing date for admission into the program.

4. A defendant accepted into ARD may be referred to any of the following programs and shall pay any costs associated with a program:

  • The Underage Drinking Program of Berks County
  • STOPLIFT Adult Shoplifting Intervention Program
  • STOPLIFT Juvenile Shoplifting Intervention Program
  • Adult Probation Community Service Program
  • Juvenile Probation  Community Service Program
  • A recommended program subject to approval by the District Attorney

5. Community service program hours shall be assigned in 4-hour increments and shall not exceed 40 hours for offenders referred to the Adult Probation Community Service Program or shall not exceed 20 hours for offenders referred to the Juvenile Probation Community Service Program.

6. All costs and restitution, if any, must be paid before completion of the ARD program.

7. If the MDJ deems that the defendant has met all of the requirements of the ARD program, the summary charge filed against the defendant shall be dismissed. In the MDJS, the summary case appears "ARD Open" while the defendant is on ARD. Upon completion of the ARD program, the MDJ shall record a "Dismissed by ARD" disposition to close the case. If the MDJ deems that the defendant has failed to complete all of the requirements of the ARD program, the defendant shall be terminated from the ARD program, and the case shall proceed in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. No summary case shall remain active for purposes of ARD supervision in excess of six (6) months).

In the MDJS, "ARD Open" and "Dismissed by ARD" shall not be used for any summary case that is not processed through the District Attorney's ARD program for summary cases.

8. Each MDJ shall submit to the District Attorney a monthly report on the disposition of all cases eligible for ARD, where applications were submitted for admission into the program. The District Attorney shall compile these monthly reports and monitor the cases. The monthly report submitted by each MDJ shall include:

  • a record of defendants who participate in the ARD program
  • those who were eligible but not admitted to ARD and the reasons for not admitting the defendant
  • those who complete the ARD program
  • those who do not complete the program
  • those defendants that pay in full the costs associated with the program

9. The ARD application referred to in paragraph 2 shall be in substantially the following form:

Application for ARD for Summary Case.pdfApplication for ARD for Summary Case.pdf