The Court Can Dismiss A First-Time DUI Arrest And Remove It From Your Record
Pennsylvania DUI Law is not blind or insensitive to the fact that good and decent people can wind up with a DUI. So, if this is your first DUI charge, you qualify for the first-time offender Accelerated Rehabilitative Discharge (ARD) Program. ARD is a rehabilitation program run by the Berks County District Attorney designed to instill self-awareness and educate you about the effects of alcohol. The goal of ARD is to prevent you from receiving future DUIs. You must apply to the District Attorney and the District Attorney must accept you into the program.
Qualifying For Berks County’s DUI ARD Program
To qualify, you must
- be a first-time DUI offender;
- not had had a minor under the age of 14 in your car when police arrested you for the DUI; and
- not have a prior misdemeanor or felony conviction in Pennsylvania and The United States;
- not have caused serious bodily injury resulting from your DUI except for yourself;
- have had a valid, unsuspended, non-revoked, or canceled PA driver’s license when arrested for the DUI;
- have the arresting police officer send any refusal forms to both PennDOT and the District Attorney’s Office before your ARD hearing; and
- apply for the ARD program at your preliminary hearing.
Have our DUI Attorneys make sure everything is in order, and you know what to say and how to say. Applying correctly for ARP is crucial because if you’re not accepted there is no appeal.
Advantages of Berks County’s DUI ARD Program
ARD is the answer to a first-time DUI offender’s prayer because of you
- lose your driving privileges for 0, 30, or 60 days instead of a mandatory one-year suspension for a DUI conviction;
- don’t have to go to trial;
- although the court places you under supervision, can often still to go to work, so your DUI doesn’t interrupt your income;
- most crucially, after completing the ARD program
- have your DUI charges dismissed; and
- you can petition the Court (called a petition for an expungement) to remove the DUI arrest from your record.
What Does It Mean To Have The DUI Arrest Removed From Your Record?
When the court removes (expunges) your DUI from your criminal record, the court seals your record to everyone except the District Attorney. Therefore
- the DUI arrest will not show up on criminal background checks, and
- very importantly, you can honestly answer no to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” on applications for employment, loans, and admissions to schools.
Although your DUI arrest is not visible to background checks, it’s not gone. If you’re arrested again for a DUI, the District Attorney will know about the prior arrest.
What Does the Berks County DUI ARD Program Include?
If the District Attorney accepts you into Berks County’s ARD Program, the court
- places you on a One-Year Probation;
- suspends your driving privileges for 0, 30 or 60 days;
- 0 days if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Count) was .o8%-.99%
- 30 days if your BAC was .10%-.159%
- 60 days if
- your BAC was .16% or higher or unknown; or
- police charged you with driving under the influence of drugs; or
- the DUI resulted in bodily injury or damage to a vehicle or other property.
- requires that you perform 16 hrs. of Community Service in Berks County;
- mandates that you attend Safe Driving Classes; and
- lastly, requires that you pay Court Fines and Costs including the cost of the ARD program.
Reasons Why The District Attorney Can Remove You from Berks County’s DUI ARD Program
The District Attorney will remove you from the ARP Program if you
- violate your probation (police arrest you); or
- drive with a suspended license;
- fail to comply with the program requirements; or
- lastly, fail to pay fines and costs.
For more details about Berks County’s DUI ARD Program, visit the Berks County DUI – ARD website.
What is Fast-Track ARD?
Our DUI Attorneys will determine if you qualify for Fast Track ARD. If you qualify, the court may reduce the number of times they require you to appear before a judge to as few as two. Reducing the number of court appearances saves you time and emotional stress.
You Need Our Proven DUI Attorneys To Make Sure You’re Accepted Into The ARD Program
You need our proven DUI Attorneys to help you apply for DUI ARD Program. Remember, if you are not accepted there is no appeal. Don’t let this opportunity to reduce the negative consequences of you DUI slip away because of a simple mistake. Contact Us Online or call us at 610-670-9000 today.
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