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How long does the average wait to be approved for ARD? Should I worry at this point?

Media, PA |

My first hearing was at the end of June. So my application went in either the last week of June or first week of July. I haven't heard anything back yet but have completed all requirements. So it's been 4 months for the application but 6 months since the arrest.

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Attorney answers 4


The ARD program is run be each individual district attorney's office. Depending on the county it can sometimes take several months to get an answer. I strongly reccomend you talk with an attorney about this to make sure everything was handled properly. There are times when the DA's office loses the initial application and another one has to be filed. There are also time sensitive dates that certain things need to be filed by in Pennsylvania and you want to make sure that you are not waiving your right to do so as you wait for ARD. Again, I would suggest you talk with an attorney who is familiar with the County you are dealing with.



Thank you for your response. I have an attorney who filed the paperwork and is representing me. Last time I spoke with him he said "I have this under control" I just feel like the process is taking forever and my lawyer doesnt seem to be overly worried about it at all which makes me more worried.


I agree with my colleague.

If your case is in Delaware County, you may want to ask your attorney to contact the ARD unit in the District Attorney's Office. Some counties like Delaware are literally inundated with ARD applications, but mistakes can happen. By local rule, Delaware County sets a back up pre-trial conference date 180 days from your arraignment and makes you execute a Rule 600 Waiver when you apply for ARD, which I am sure you signed if your case is in fact in Delaware County. If you are approved for ARD, they usually schedule an ARD hearing before the back-up date. If you are rejected from ARD, you (and/or your attorney) will be notified in writing. The Court then schedules a date for a pre-trial conference approximately 30 days after you receive notice. The case would then proceed to trial or a possible guilty plea. Based upon the facts you presented, you should have a back-up pre-trial conference date sometime in December or January. I would start to get worried if you have not heard anything by mid-November.

If your case is not in Delaware County, there very well may be a reason that your application is being held up. However, without more information it is difficult to answer your question. If you have serious concerns, you should speak to your attorney about them.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. More importantly, the information contained in this answer should not be relied on. You should consult an attorney who practices in the relevant area of the relevant jurisdiction.



Thank you for your response. Yes my ARD application is for Delaware county and the pretrial conference is set for January 15th or so. I should hear something in the next few weeks? I guess that's a normal timeline? I know that the pretrial date is still 2 and a half months away it just seems the process is very slow. As an added bit of information I have nothing on my record, other than a non moving violation or a parking ticket.


I would agree with my colleagues. Each individaul District Attorney's office handles the ARD application process and it can take longer than you would like. The best advice would be to place a phone call to ARD Unit to find out where your application is in the assembly line. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, then you may want to hire a lawyer to get things moving a quicker pace.

The above is a general answer but should not be considered specific legal advice for your case. If you would like to discuss the particular problem you are facing, please contact Geoffrey Hood, Esquire at (215) 639-4400


Have your lawyer make a call and,find out. Simple. Some times for paperwork processing are worse than others.

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