If you are a first time offender charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Berks County, PA you may be eligible for a special program known as ARD. In this post I’ll briefly explain the eligibility requirements as well as the benefits of the program. As with any legal issue I advise that you contact an attarney to discuss the specifics of your case.
The District attarney’s Office has full discretion in deciding whether an applicant is granted ARD.
Generally, if you are a first time offender ARD you may be eligible. This means no prior felonies or misdemeanors in Berks County, elsewhere in PA or any other states. However, if you have a prior offense (even for DUI) and it occurred many years ago, you may be eligible at the discretion of the DA’s Office.
Even if you are a true first time offender your ARD application may be denied on other grounds – if you are not licensed, do not have insurance, were rude or otherwise inappropriate with the arresting officer, serious property damage occurred etc. Additionally, an individual is statutorily ineligible if a person other the driver was killed or seriously injured or if a child was a passenger in the Defendant’s vehicle.
This list is certainly not all inclusive, and given your unique circumstances you should certainly contact our offices to determine your chances of acceptance in the ARD program.
First, if you are accepted into the program and successfuly complete it you will avoid jail time. Depending on your BAC you may face a mandatory minimum of 48 or 72 hours up to 6 months for a First Time DUI if you suffer a conviction. Second, you could reduce your license suspension from 1 year down to 60, 30 or 0 days, depending again on BAC. Also, you avoid an official criminal conviction on the record. Instead, you earn the chance to have the charges dismissed through supervision, community service, driving classes and overall compliance with the program.
The attarneys at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have handled hundreds of DUI cases in Berks County, PA. In addition to securing ARD for DUI Defendants, we have won Jury Acquittals and dismissals following the Suppression of Evidence, Habeas Corpus motions, Rule 600 violations and other Police or Prosecution improprieties. A DUI is not a cookie cutter offense. If you find yourself charged with DUI in Berks County, PA please call our offices immediately.