What If This Is My First-Offense DUI?

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. If convicted, people face jail time, fines and a suspension of their driving privileges. Thinking about these consequences can be unnerving, particularly for those who have never been involved with the criminal justice system before.

Pennsylvania Has A Program That Helps First-Time Offenders

In Pennsylvania, the good news is that first-time DUI offenders have the opportunity for a second chance if they have no prior criminal convictions. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that allows a first-time DUI offender to obtain a deferred verdict, probation and eventual expunction of the charge.

If this is your first drunk driving offense, you may qualify for Pennsylvania's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. If the local district attorney accepts you, you will be placed on probation. While part of the program, you will need to meet certain requirements, which are different from person to person but almost always include alcohol treatment classes. If you complete the program successfully, the charges are dropped and your record is wiped clean.

ARD Is A Good Alternative If A Dismissal Is Not Possible

As an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Montgomery County, I have helped hundreds of people take advantage of the ARD program in drunk driving cases. I work for outright dismissals whenever possible, but ARD is a viable alternative for many people if dismissal is not realistic.

If you qualify and want this option, I will work to obtain it for you. Be aware that for the purposes of the PennDOT records system, an ARD for drunk driving remains on your driving record for 10 years. If you are arrested for DUI again within that period, you will be prosecuted for a second DUI offense and subject to more severe penalties.

I Can Help You Minimize Or Eliminate The Effect Of DUI Charges

If you are facing drunk driving charges for the first time in Montgomery County or Bucks County, talk to me, Theodore H. Swan, Jr., Attorney at Law, about the possibility of ARD. For a free consultation, please call 267-415-6130 or contact me online.