Chester County DUI ARD Lawyer
If you’re facing a first-time DUI charge in Chester Couty, you may be eligible for a program called A.R.D., or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, which will allow you to resolve your PA driving under the influence case without a criminal record. Ciccarelli Law Offices can answer all of your questions about ARD and help you determine whether it may be an option in your Pennsylvania drunk driving case.
A.R.D. is a program that emphasizes treatment instead of incarceration. Some counties have different guidelines, but, generally, in order to be eligible for accelerated rehabilitative disposition, you cannot have been convicted of a Pennsylvania DUI in the past 10 years. However, the district attorney has discretion to recommend or deny an individual for the program and each County District Attorney uses slightly different considerations for the program. Contact Us to discuss whether you may be eligible in the County of your arrest.
ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) in West Chester and Chester County, PA
DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol, or drunk driving) is a serious criminal offense that can lead to severe legal, financial, and personal consequences, including jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, probation, community service, and many other penalties.
Pennsylvania’s ARD program provides first-time DUI defendants and those with no DUI charges in the past 10 years with a way to avoid a criminal record and possibly have the matter expunged.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) allows defendants to circumvent a trial and potential jail time, complete a list of requirements under court supervision, and then proceed through life without the stigma or consequences of a DUI conviction.
If you have been arrested for DUI or drunk driving for the first time or for the first time in at least 10 years in West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Malvern, Kennett Square, or any of the other boroughs, townships, or communities throughout Chester County, Pennsylvania, you need an experienced lawyer to explain the legal ramifications of your case and help you learn about your options.
The team of criminal defense attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices is equipped with the experience and dedication to aggressively defend you against a DUI charge. We may be able to help you avoid a trial or obtain a dismissal of charges, but Ciccarelli Law Offices will take a case to trial if necessary to fight against a conviction. We will also discuss the pros and cons of Chester County’s ARD program with you to determine if it may be your best option.
Call Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (610) 692-8700 to schedule your free consultation to begin the process of protecting your rights and your freedom.
If you’re accepted for ARD in a PA DUI case, you’ll be under the court’s supervision – similar to probation – for six months. You’ll also be required to pay restitution if ordered and all court fines and fees and may be required to pay traffic fines, complete community service, highway safety classes and or alcohol or drug treatment. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be subject to license suspension in Pennsylvania for 30 to 90 days. It is possible to avoid suspension altogether in some cases.
If you complete all of the requirements for a A.R.D., your Pennsylvania DUI charge will be dismissed and you won’t have a criminal record from your driving under the influence arrest. You may then also be able to expunge the DUI arrest from your record. If you fail to meet the requirements after being accepted into the A.R.D. program, the charges against you will be reinstated and you’ll be prosecuted for driving under the influence. ARD can bring a satisfactory outcome to your first-time Pennsylvania DUI case, but it’s not your only option. It may be possible to reach a favorable plea bargain or successfully fight your driving under the influence charge in court. A Pennsylvania DUI lawyer at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help you determine whether A.R.D. or another option can bring a satisfactory outcome to your driving under the influence case. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
It may be possible to fight your Pennsylvania DUI charge and win, but you’ll never know if you plead guilty without first exploring your options. Ciccarelli Law Offices can review your case to determine whether the Chester County district attorney’s case has weaknesses that are open to challenge. Please contact us today for a free consultation.
ARD in West Chester and Chester County, PA
Recognizing that many first-time DUI offenders and those with no prior DUI arrests in at least 10 years are not hardened criminals, but often suffered from a lapse of judgment, Pennsylvania implemented ARD as a second-chance pre-trial intervention program to emphasize rehabilitation over incarceration and reduce the time and expense of trials.
Depending on the facts of a particular DUI case, ARD may be a viable option or even the best option for a person arrested on a DUI charge.
Upon completion of all program requirements, a person accepted into Chester County’s ARD program will be able to have the DUI charge dismissed and the arrest cleared from his or her permanent criminal record. Then it may be possible for the arrest to be expunged, which could be of future benefit when seeking educational and professional employment opportunities.
ARD is not appropriate for every DUI defendant. In some cases, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to find weaknesses in the state’s case, errors in the conduct of the police during the traffic stop, problems with field sobriety or breath tests, or other issues that could weaken the state’s case enough to result in lesser charges or a dismissal. In other cases, ARD may be preferable to a trial.
A DUI conviction is also a permanent criminal record, which could be a factor resulting in enhanced penalties if convicted of a crime in the future. For this reason alone, ARD is often a better alternative than a first-time DUI conviction. As previously stated, a DUI conviction may also adversely affect a person’s future educational and professional employment opportunities.
Eligibility for ARD in Pennsylvania
Chester County prosecutors have discretion in recommending or denying a person for the county’s ARD program, but Title 75, Chapter 3807 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes lists general guidelines. A person may not be considered for ARD if:
- 10 or less years elapsed since any DUI charge
- An accident occurred in connection with the current DUI charge that resulted in serious bodily injury or death
- A passenger 14 years of age or younger was in the vehicle at the time of the current DUI charge
Any victims affected by the current DUI charge may also be consulted for their objections.
Some counties only admit into their ARD program those who showed “general impairment.” Other counties may admit those with what the state defines as “high” or “highest” BACs, as well as those arrested for DUI with a controlled substance (DUID).
A qualified attorney may be able to review the facts of a particular case and persuade county prosecutors to admit a person into an ARD program if there are objections or reservations about admittance.
Requirements of ARD in West Chester and Chester County, PA
Once recommended for ARD by a prosecutor and approved by the court, an ARD program participant will be under court supervision for six to 12 months. Other statutory requirements include:
- Attend and successfully complete an alcohol highway safety school
- Possible loss of license for up to 90 days (no loss of license for “general impairment,” 30 days for “high” BAC, 60 days for “highest” BAC, and 90 days if defendant was a minor)
- Alcohol and drug evaluation
- Alcohol and drug rehabilitation counseling or treatment, if indicated by evaluation
- Restitution, if ordered
- Fines and fees, including the costs of evaluation, counseling, and treatment
- Community service
Failure to fulfill any of the requirements set by the court may result in the reinstatement of the initial DUI charge.
If you have been arrested for DUI for the first time or for the first time in 10 years in West Chester or Chester County, Pennsylvania, you may face serious consequences that could restrict your legal ability to drive, your freedom and your future. It is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case right away.
A qualified attorney will review your case and discuss your options with you, including if accelerated rehabilitative disposition is best for you under the circumstances.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 75, Section 38 — Driving after Imbibing Alcohol or Utilizing Drugs — Read the state laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, about the penalties that may be imposed, and the state ARD program as outlined in § 3807.
Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 3 — Read the entire text of the Pennsylvania ARD program here, including the conditions and procedures.
Pennsylvania Drivers Manual, Chapter 4: Driving Record Information — Pages 77-86 of the Pennsylvania Drivers Manual, an official educational publication of the state Department of Transportation, provides an outline of important information about driving records, including details about the state ARD program.
Chester County ARD Program — General information specific to Chester County’s ARD program is available on the official Chester County web site.
Chester County Court of Common Pleas — The Chester County Court web site contains important information and links related to county courts.
Find an ARD Attorney in West Chester & Chester County, PA
A DUI conviction may result in consequences that linger for many years. Avoiding a DUI conviction after an arrest is possible, and a qualified criminal defense attorney may be able to help.
If you have been charged for the first time or for the first time in 10 years with DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol, or drunk driving, it is imperative that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer today to schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case. You may be eligible for an accelerated rehabilitative disposition, or ARD, which could eventually wipe your entire record clean.
If you are facing a first-time DUI, you need a dedicated attorney to help protect your rights and reputation. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we have a team of dedicated attorneys who will strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today if you are in West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Malvern, Kennett Square, or any of the other boroughs, townships, or communities throughout Chester County.
Our goal is to inform you of your options while vigorously defending you. We may be able to find flaws in the prosecution’s case or in the legality of the traffic stop, arrest, or sobriety testing, thereby raising reasonable doubt about your guilt, which may lead to a dismissal or lesser charge, while compiling all the necessary information to determine if the ARD program is a smart choice for you.
You deserve representation by qualified criminal defense lawyers in your case. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 692-8700 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.
Our DUI ARD team has over 50 years of experience working on your behalf and looking for your best options after you have faced a first offense of dui. Look to our experience, and insight when you are facing a dui stop, dui arrest and dui penalties. Based in suburban Philadelphia, Ciccarelli Law Offices has locations throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including Center City Philadelphia, West Chester PA, Malvern (serving Downingtown/Exton PA), Kennett Square PA, Lancaster PA, King of Prussia PA, Plymouth Meeting PA, Radnor and Springfield PA. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced DUI ARD Lawyer at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.