Achara (rituals) are only Dharma. The Acharas followed by holy people is Sadachara and Aacharas followed by eminent followers of the religion is Sishtachara. Though we generally tell Achara as Dharma , the rules which help practice Dharma is Sadachara. In some places Dharma is the dress and Achara are the limbs. For example performing Sandhyavandana is a Dharma, but performing it after taking bath, after marking the forehead with sacred marks and wearing a Panchakacha is the aacharas. Even Vedas do not support a person who does not have aacharas. By following Achara we can get a long span of life and also become wealthy . So many Dharma Sasthras say that Dharma is born out of aacharas and anyone who leaves aacharas has a very short span of life.
Karma or Dharma is a medicine that removes sins. Achara is the discipline that we have to follow in taking the medicine . When you do not follow the disciplines, in spite of taking medicine , the disease is not cured. Sometimes even the discipline only cures the diseases. One Purana says that a hunter who only followed Achara , got a Brahmin birth. Any religious without following the aacharas does not give result... to read