What Are Mandatory DUI Sentences?

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If you are facing first-offense DUI charges, it is important to understand what an ARD is, what mandatory DUI sentences might look like, and your possibilities of going to jail. You must retain the services of an experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer who will explore all avenues of defense on your behalf. Our dedicated attorney is prepared to walk you through each step of the process ahead. We understand how impactful these charges may be on your future. We will do everything in our power to advocate for you. To learn more about mandatory DUI sentences and the ARD program, continue reading.

What is ARD?

ARD is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, a pre-trial diversionary program for first-time DUI offenders. ARD may also be available for drivers who have one previous DUI which happened more than a certain number of years previously depending on the Pennsylvania County.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition is a program that is designed to give first-time offenders a second chance and the opportunity to receive punishment without the drastic consequences of a DUI conviction. ARD sentences generally require a shorter driver’s license suspension, fines and fees, a period of probation, and a community service requirement. If ARD is successfully committed, the driver can have their criminal record expunged.

What are mandatory DUI sentences?

A mandatory DUI sentence requires a person to be sentenced to a mandatory minimum jail time. Mandatory DUI sentences are set by Pennsylvania statute. Currently, Pennsylvania uses a two-tier system. This system determines what the mandatory minimum is in any particular DUI case. Based on your BAC at the time of driving and the number of previous DUI convictions within 10 years, your mandatory minimum will be determined. If you refuse to give a blood or breath sample, you are considered to be in the higher BAC range. A previous ARD during the relevant time period will be considered a previous conviction for purposes of determining the mandatory minimum.

Does this mean that I will have to go to jail?

If you are facing first-time DUI charges, you may not have to go to jail even if you are convicted of or plead guilty to a DUI. With the right Pittsburgh DUI lawyer in your corner, they will advocate for you and your future through each step of the process ahead. Under Pennsylvania DUI law there are alternatives to serving a mandatory sentence in an actual jail including house arrest and alternative housing.

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The Law Office of George Heym focuses solely on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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