Many months ago, I (Attorney Ryan McAllister) began to represent a client charged with a first (1st) offense DUI under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802(c). My client was facing a mandatory three (3) days in Berks County Prison in addition to a 12-month license suspension. After reviewing the facts of the case as well as the discovery documents, I informed my client that there were no pretrial suppression issues to argue, and his best bet would be to file for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD). The only problem was my client previously completed the ARD Program for an assault case two (2) years ago.
Nevertheless, I still applied my client to the ARD Program at the preliminary hearing. As expected, though, my client was initially denied from the program based on his prior ARD. In response, I promptly drafted a letter to the District Attorney explaining my client’s situation. My client works full-time for a local manufacturing company, and he could not afford to lose his license for 12 months. Moreover, my client had no interest in spending three (3) days in Berks County Prison.
Shortly after sending my “reconsideration” letter, I got a response indicating that my client was approved for the DUI ARD Program. Just a few days before my client was going to be placed on the DUI ARD Program, though, in a stroke of unbelievably bad luck, my client was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor assault case. This immediately made my client ineligible for the DUI ARD Program. I continued my client’s DUI case to a later court date, and focused 100% of my efforts on getting the assault case dismissed. Luckily, I was able to get all of the charges against my client in the assault case dismissed at the preliminary hearing, and I was also able to secure my client’s placement onto the DUI ARD Program in his DUI case.
Even though the process took several months longer than usual, my client was extremely happy with the outcome of his case. No jail time, no conviction, no record, and a significantly reduced license suspension.
If you or someone you know is charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Berks County, Pennsylvania, please contact my office to setup a no-cost consultation. I would be happy to discuss the various strategies I use to keep clients out of jail and minimize their license suspensions.