It’s your first DUI. Maybe you have heard of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Maybe you think you’re safe from criminal penalties because you’re going to get ARD; however, you might be wrong.
In this post, we look at the ARD program, who can get in, and how a lawyer can help.
Pennsylvania offers the ARD program as an alternative to jail time for many first-time offenders. If you are eligible, your lawyer can help you apply. If the court grants your request for ARD, you may have to complete the following requirements as part of the program:
The low cost and chance to avoid jail can make ARD sound like a great option. But who is eligible?
You will only be eligible for this program under certain circumstances. And even then, the district attorney may still impose other requirements for ARD that keep you out of the program. Having a lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
You may not be eligible if:
As you can see, this is a complex list of requirements. And it isn’t even complete. The D.A. can add requirements at their will.
Should you meet the requirements, you can apply for ARD through the following process:
From there, you will get an ARD hearing date from the D.A.
Getting ARD for a DUI is a complex process. Your lawyer can help you with each step.
As part of ARD, you may face a driver’s license suspension of up to 90 days. The length of time depends on your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest. While Pennsylvania law requires the suspension, your lawyer can help you advocate for a certain start date for your license suspension.
For example, if it would be better for you to have your license suspension done before you head back to college in the fall, your lawyer may be able to make that case for you.
In most cases, ARD in Chester County is for first-time DUI offenders. Additionally, you can’t have a felony on your record. That means that, if you qualify, you don’t have a ton of experience with the PA criminal justice system. We can advise you at every step, so you are never surprised.
And we can give you peace of mind that you are making the best possible choices regarding your case.
Believe it or not, ARD isn’t always the best option. That’s because you can’t beat getting your charge dismissed. With a dismissed charge, there is no probation, no community service, and no license suspension. You’re free to go.
Sometimes, criminal charges are weak. When they’re weak enough, contesting them can get them thrown out. Hiring a lawyer for your DUI can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action.
Ready to speak with a DUI lawyer about ARD and your DUI charge? If you’ve been charged in West Chester, Phoenixville, Exton, Wayne, Kennett Square, Oxford, Coatesville, or anywhere in Chester County, contact Skinner Law Firm. Claim your free consultation today. Call (610) 436-1410 or contact us online.