Posts Tagged ‘Reading PA ARD’

ENM Law News: Client Avoids License Suspension for Underage Drinking Citation

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Even though an underage drinking violation is only a summary citation, it can have a serious impact on your life.  The penalties for this offense include fines and costs as well as a mandatory license suspension.  The suspension for a first offense is 90 days, for a second it is 1 year and for third or subsequent offenses the suspension is 2 years.  Summary citations are usually handled in front of a Magisterial District Judge.

A recent client was charged with an underage drinking violation and was concerned about how such a charge would affect employment.  Our criminal law attorneys were able to ensure this client’s placement in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program on an alternative charge of public drunkenness.  If the client pays the costs on the case and does not receive any new criminal charges, the client’s record will be expunged in approximately 90 days.  This means that the client avoided a license suspension, higher fines and costs and a criminal record.

If you’ve been charged with an underage drinking citation or any other summary violation, contact our criminal lawyers today at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the “Ask an attorney” link and see what we can do to help you.

Simple Assault, Public Drunkeness, Disorderly Conduct charges dismissed in Berks County, PA

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Today I represented a client charged with Simple Assault and related offenses for an alleged incident occurring in Berks County, PA. The case had made it to the Court of Common Pleas level and was set for disposition. My client was otherwise eligible for ARD, but we hoped for an even better result.

I filed an Omnibus Pretrial motion and the matter was set for a hearing. Our position was that the Commonwealth could not establish each of the elements of the offenses. In the end the Judge agreed to dismiss each of the charges and my client walked out of court a free man.

Underage Drinking in Pennsylvania

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I recently represented a Kutztown University student on a citation for underage drinking.  Pennsylvania’s underage drinking statute, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308, actually covers “purchase, consumption, possession, or transportation” of alcohol.  Although it is a relatively minor summary offense that is most often punishable by a fine, most young people, including my client, want to avoid having any type of “record”, including one for underage drinking.  This is especially important in the case of a successful college student with a bright future ahead of him.  Furthermore, although Pennsylvania law allows for an expungement of an underage drinking citation upon reaching 21 years of age, my client didn’t want to wait until his 21st birthday to have his record expunged; he didn’t want any type of record at all.

In this case, several students were issued citations by campus police for underage drinking in my client’s dorm room.  Additionally, one student, who was over 21, was charged with supplying alcohol to minors, which is a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania state law.  Although there was no evidence that my client was even drinking that night, he was issued a citation for “constructively possessing” the alcohol that was present in his college dorm room.

After a long hearing in front of the Magistrate, which included over 5 witnesses, my client was found guilty.  Based on the facts presented at the hearing, I strongly disagreed with the ruling.  After discussing it with my client, I filed an appeal at the Berks County Court of Common Pleas that same day.  Although I would have liked to have had the opportunity argue the case again at the higher court, my client and I ultimately decided that the best course of action would be to enter into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program.

At the hearing, my client did not have to plead guilty or admit any guilt.  He was placed on informal supervision for a few months and must complete community service.  After he successfully completes ARD, any information related to the case will be expunged, and there will be no formal record of his charges.  The entire incident will be a thing of the past well before my client starts applying for internships for the upcoming summer.

Most importantly, my client was very satisfied with the outcome of his case.