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Summary ARD

In April of 1996, Northampton County adopted a local procedure for ARD in summary cases. The summary ARD program is available for defendants who have not previously been placed into a summary ARD program in Northampton County. All court costs ($119.00) and any restitution must be paid before a defendant is eligible to participate in the summary ARD program. The following types of summary cases are eligible for summary ARD:

  • retail theft
  • conspiracy to commit retail theft
  • purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of intoxicating beverages by one less than 21 years of age
  • misrepresentation of age to secure liquor by one less than 21 years of age
  • carrying a false identification card
  • use of tobacco in schools prohibited
  • disorderly conduct
  • harassment
  • public drunkenness

An alternative sentencing program conducted by the Forks Township Police Department was also approved for the charges of criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and harassment when committed by a juvenile.

If a defendant is interested in applying for summary ARD, he should respond to the citation by taking it to the appropriate district court and telling the staff he would like to be considered for summary ARD. A MDJ determines if a defendant is eligible for summary ARD and which summary ARD program is best suited for the defendant. Summary ARD programs are offered by: Valley Counseling Group, Crossroads Program and Decisions Program offered by Valley Youth House, American Lung Association and the STOPLIFT Program offered by the Program for Women and Families. These programs offer classes that enable the participants to learn how their behavior affects others and help them to better understand risk behaviors. It also teaches them decision-making skills. The defendant pays the cost of the educational classes directly to the organization offering the classes.

The summary ARD program allows the defendant to have the summary charge dismissed upon successful completion of the educational program and payment of the program costs.

In 2006, a local procedure for the automatic expungement of successfully completed summary ARD cases was implemented. The MDJ automatically petitions the court for expungement of each successfully completed summary ARD case and with the DA's approval, expungements are granted. This saves the person from hiring an attorney to have the summary case expunged.

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