Q: I went to my preliminary hearing and waived it to apply for ARD. On the paper it says at the top next court action “formal arraignment”. And where it states the time it says ARD/ arraignment. Will I start the ARD program at that time or will there be another hearing after this? On the paper it looks like there will be a third hearing for plea/sentencing arraignment not yet scheduled? I’m just very confused I didn’t think I even filled out the ARD application, yet my public defender said I was offered ARD and all I did was sign to waive my Preliminary Hearing. Listen to your Public Defender. He or she knows what they are doing, trust me. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: In Allegheny County, the Formal Arraignment is an important paper signing date that you must attend. You receive your Criminal Information (charges) Pretrial Conference Notice and sign a subpoena for a court date with an assigned judge. If you qualify for ARD and the DA has made this determination prior to your Formal Arraignment, you will be handed a card to proceed to the ARD room for an interview. During the interview you will be handed an ARD offer, to accept by signing if you wish. They will also give you other papers to sign which include a Rule 600 waiver, a Release of Information, a background information form and subpoena for your next court date which is the day you are admitted into the program by a judge. Listen to your Public Defender. He or she knows what they are doing.