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Man in Boating Accident Gets Unusual ARD Outcome

A 21-year-old man involved in a fatal boating accident last summer was placed on probation for four years at a hearing on September 2. A first-time offender, the defendant was accepted into Pennsylvania’s accelerated rehabilitative disposition program and required to pay $650, complete 100 hours of community service, and take a boating safety course. Successful completion of the program could result in the charges being dismissed and expunged.

Allen was charged with two counts of homicide by watercraft after his boat, which was overloaded and lacking flotation devices, capsized in the Susquehanna River in June 2013. His two friends drowned.

Although the requirements Allen must meet to fulfill the terms of the program are typical, for him to receive this outcome in the first place is somewhat unusual. The ARD program is primarily used for cases of driving while intoxicated or under the influence, theft and simple assault. In some circumstances, the ARD program might not be an option, such as if someone was injured in an accident in the DWI or DUI case, if the theft was more than $10,000 and if the assault victim objects to the defendant’s admission into the program. Whether a defendant is admitted into the ARD program is ultimately up to the judge.

Completion of the ARD program generally results in the charges being dismissed and expunged. Failure to complete the program, however, means the individual will have to stand trial on the charges. This can lead to the possibility of fines and potentially even jail time.

If you or a loved one have questions about Pennsylvania’s accelerated rehabilitative disposition program or believe admission to the program would be the desired outcome in your case, speak with a Berks County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of David R. Eshelman.

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