Most people who come to me facing DUI charges are good people who have experienced a lapse of judgment. People that did not think their one extra drink at the baseball game or their friends Bar-B-Que would result in their arrest and them facing DUI charges. For those people the Pennsylvania Legislature allows an alternative to being convicted and sentenced in for of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or ARD.
The ARD program allows first time offenders to serve probation, community service and fines which, if successfully completed results in the dismissal of the charges against them. Obviously this is an enormous benefit to clients who are concerned about keeping their jobs or looking for a job in the future.
Once you complete the ARD program you are eligible to have your DUI charges expunged and sealed off of your criminal record. The DUI conviction will not show up on any criminal background checks. This also means if a job application asks you if you have ever been arrested or charged with a crime you may answer "no." Per Pennsylvania law, the legal effect of an expungement is that the crime never existed, therefore, you may deny that it ever occurred.
The ARD program is at the sole discretion of the district attorney's office in your county. The district attorney's offices in each county have established individual guidelines as to who will qualify for the ARD program. While they may differ slightly, you are eligible to apply for the DUI ARD program if you:
While ARD is available for many different criminal offenses it is often administered in DUI cases.
If you have been arrest for PA DUI and need information about the possibility of entrance to the ARD program in your county, contact Jason R. Antoine.