Being arrested for a DUI can be a very stressful experience. Often it is the case when an individual calls our office regarding their DUI arrest, it is their first time ever having to face criminal charges. While every case is unique, many individuals facing a DUI for the first time are eligible for a diversionary program that will dismiss their DUI upon successful completion. Having an experienced DUI attorney in Pennsylvania by your side will allow you to maximize your chances of success in this program.
*It should be stated that, while ARD is generally offered for first time DUI offenders, this program can sometimes also be applied to other first-offense misdemeanor charges
Throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, various counties offer to first time DUI offenders the option of applying for ARD. ARD is short for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. It is a 6-12 month program that involves the completion of:
Completion of Alcohol Highway Safety School;
Payment of Court Costs and Fines;
A period of license suspension (0 days for lowest tier DUI, 30 days for a middle tier DUI, 60 days for highest tier DUI, and 90 days if the individual is a minor while DUI);
IMPORTANT: If you are a commercial driver you will lose your license for 1 year regardless of completing the ARD Program; and
Other requirements if mandated by the District Attorney's Office of the specific county where the defendant was arrested in.
It is important to note that, the ARD Program is often managed by the District Attorney's Office and NOT by the court. What this means is that your specific DUI case may be accepted or rejected depending on the specific facts of your case. Reasons for rejection of an ARD application may include:
Excessive speeding when arrested for DUI;
Accident involving property damage or injury to another individual during the DUI;
Excessive Blood Alcohol Content;
Prior Criminal History;
A child under the age of 14 was in the vehicle at the time of the stop while DUI; and
Nature of the DUI.
While rejections of ARD do occur, there are many instances where an experienced DUI attorney can resubmit your application with additional facts and mitigating factors in order to have you approved.
Once an individual is approved and completes the ARD Program, they can apply to have their record expunged so that no criminal background appears when applying to jobs, schools, housing, etc. A Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will be able to assist in the expungement process.
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling criminal cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with dedicated Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of dui attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.