My client was charged with a first offense driving under the influence (DUI) charge in Berks County. Even though it was a first offense, my client was still facing a mandatory 72 hours (3 days) in Berks County Prison along with a 12 month license suspension. After reviewing the facts of the case with my client, we made the decision that the best option would be to pursue the Berks County DUI ARD Program, which would eliminate the threat of any mandatory jail time and reduce the license suspension down to 60 days.
The problem, however, was that my client previously participated in and completed the accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program in another case, approximately two (2) years ago. Normally, ARD is offered to first time offenders only, and a prior involvement with the criminal justice system will preclude a defendant from participating in the ARD Program. In fact, that was exactly what happened as the case initially progressed. I received notice from the District Attorney’s Office that my client was denied from the DUI ARD Program.
Nevertheless, I wanted to make at least one (1) additional attempt to get my client admitted to the DUI ARD Program. After all, my client had never spent a day in jail in his entire life, and he was extremely worried about ending up behind bars. Also, my client was employed full-time, and a lengthy one-year license suspension would cause significant problems with my client’s ability to get to and from work. Therefore, I prepared a letter addressed to the District Attorney of Berks County. In the letter, I made it known that my client had previously completed the ARD Program in Berks County. However, I also made it clear that my client was willing to do whatever was necessary to be given the benefit of going through the program a second time. Also, I was sure to mention that my client was extremely cooperative with the police throughout the investigation and that he was employed full-time.
Shortly thereafter, I received a letter back stating that my client had been granted entry onto the DUI ARD based on my reconsideration request. Although it can be very difficult to get accepted onto the ARD Program if there is a prior involvement with the criminal justice system, I have been very successful helping clients in these types of situations. Often times, a properly worded letter pointing out the important facts of the case can result in a different outcome.
If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Reading, Pennsylvania, or Berks County, Pennsylvania, please contact my office to setup a free consultation. I would be more than happy to discuss the specifics of your case.