Getting a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania can be a life-altering event. Not only can a DUI warrant the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, but it can also warrant jail time, high fines, and a criminal record. In short, a DUI can impact your life for years down the road. That said, there are certain circumstances that may give a person charged with a DUI the opportunity to participate in the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) program. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Allegheny County DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of George Heym to learn more about this program and some of the benefits it may offer you. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What is the ARD program and what are some of its benefits?
The ARD program is for first-time DUI offenders only, and it can potentially warrant the expungement of their arrest record and the dismissal of their DUI charge, as long as they successfully complete the program. This is a golden opportunity for those facing their first DUI, but it’s paramount that you hire a competent attorney from the start who can inform you of whether you may qualify and fight for the outcome you deserve.
What are the specific qualifications for this program?
To qualify for the ARD program, you will have to meet various criteria. They are as follows:
- You must have no prior DUI convictions
- You must not have had a minor in the car at the time of your arrest
- You must not have caused an accident that led to serious injuries or death
- You must have a valid driver’s license and insurance policy
Once you have enrolled yourself in the ARD program, you will have to attend a Court Reporting Network alcohol evaluation interview. You will then have to attend an Alcohol Highway Safety School. You will also have to go through a probationary period between six and 12 months, and, if your BAC was .16% or higher, you will have to complete a full drug and alcohol assessment.
You will also have to have to pay restitution to anyone who incurred financial loss due to your DUI, pay various fines, fees, and surcharges, complete a period of community service, and follow any other conditions ordered by the court.
You should also note that as long as your BAC was lower than .10% and were not driving with a minor in the vehicle at the time of your arrest, you will not face a driver’s license suspension. However, if your BAC was between .10% and .16%, you will face a 30-day driver’s license suspension. Any BAC over .16% or other aggravating factors present with your DUI will warrant a 60-day driver’s license suspension. If a minor was in the vehicle, you will face a 90-day driver’s license suspension.
If you have any questions about the ARD program or the benefits it may afford you, please don’t hesitate to contact our firm today.