First Offense DUI Attorney Chester County
If you have been arrested for a DUI and this is your first offense, you likely have many questions regarding the consequences you may face and alternative options for reducing those consequences. During this time, it is important to speak to an experienced DUI attorney. Your attorney will be able to help answer your questions and fight aggressively for your future after a first offense DUI.
In Chester County, as well as the counties of Delaware, Lancaster, Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia, some drivers charged with DUI may be eligible for the ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program. An early intervention program for non-violent offenders who either have no existing prior criminal record or a very limited prior criminal record, the ARD program offers an alternative to traditional DUI sentencing. Candidates for the ARD program are screened carefully by the Office of the District Attorney.
The ARD program is meant to rehabilitate participants rather than punish them, and the theory behind the program is that early intervention can prevent future, similar incidents. Since public safety is an issue with DUI offenders, allowing offenders to receive help contributes to that safety. DUI offenders are able to receive immediate treatment and be placed in alcohol education classes. In some cases the offender must complete community service as a condition of the ARD program.
Driver’s License Suspension and the ARD Program
The defendant’s drivers’ license will be suspended for a varying period of time, however the maximum will still be less than the one-year suspension required following a DUI conviction. Specifically, for a BAC between .08 percent and .099 percent, there is no license suspension. For a BAC between .10 percent and .159 percent, there is a 30 day license suspension. A BAC between .16 percent and .299 percent brings a 60 day license suspension and for the driver whose BAC is above .30 percent, a one year ignition interlock will be required in addition to the 60 day driver’s license suspension.
Differences in ARD Requirements between Counties
While much of the ARD program is standardized, individual counties differ somewhat in requirements. As an example, in prior years drivers could have a preliminary hearing, then be accepted into the ARD program. Now, however, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties require the driver to waive the preliminary hearing as a condition of being admitted to the ARD program. Chester, Montgomery, Delaware and Bucks Counties all require ARD applications, while Philadelphia County does not require the application be signed, and has no preliminary hearing waiver process. The costs for the ARD programs also varies significantly. In Montgomery County a person will pay more than $2,000 to be accepted into the program. Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties charge approximately $1,100 to $1,400, while admission into the ARD program in Philadelphia County is only $432.
Once the ARD program is completed, the offender can petition the Court to have all charges dismissed and the case expunged. This is a much better outcome to charges of DUI, as a person convicted of a Pennsylvania DUI will have to deal with that fact on their criminal record. Successful completion of the ARD program can keep prospective employers from being able to access the information regarding the DUI. Speaking to a knowledgeable Pennsylvania DUI attorney at the earliest possible opportunity may significantly impact the outcome of DUI charges.
Contact Our Chester County DUI Defense Attorneys
The DUI defense attorneys of Ciccarelli Law Offices have successfully represented individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania that have been arrested and charged with DUI. Our Chester County based law firm is based at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380 and serves clients in Kennett Square, Downingtown, West Chester, Coatesville, Exton, Chester Springs, Chadds Ford, Landenberg, Honey Brook, Oxford, Malvern, Parkesburg, Phoenixville and Paoli.
A first offense dui lawyer that is experienced in helping our first time dui client facing a dui stop, dui arrest and dui penalties. We are ready to provide you help, legal advice and representation whether you are ready to fight your case at trial or are seeking entry into the ARD program.
Based in suburban Philadelphia at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380, we make your choice all the clearer with locations throughout the metropolitan Philadelphia 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.
We serve Downingtown, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.