If you are charged with DUI in Edinboro, you need to take the charge seriously. Even a first offense DUI conviction can have serious punishments, including losing your license, jail time, probation, fines, substance abuse education, and DUI school. The penalties for a first DUI offense can vary depending on several factors, including the level of impairment. In most cases, the higher the BAC, the more severe the penalties imposed.
Before pleading guilty or accepting a plea agreement, you should discuss the possibility of entering the ARD Program with your Edinboro DUI defense attorney. While the ARD Program is not available to everyone, it could be pre-trial intervention program that could avoid a criminal conviction.
What is the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?
The ARD Program is a pre-trial intervention program available to first-time DUI offenders who qualify for the program and who are recommended by the District Attorney (DA) for admission to the program. For a judge to consider ARD for a defendant, the DA must recommend the person for the program.
Therefore, it is very important that you work with an experienced Edinboro DUI defense lawyer who understands how to prepare an application that can convince a DA that you are a suitable candidate for the ARD Program. An attorney cannot guarantee that you will be accepted to the program. However, working with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney who can get your application to the DA quickly and highlight your good character and the reasons why you should be recommended for ARD is your best chance of avoiding a DUI conviction.
Is Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Right for Everyone?
The ARD Program does have several benefits that make this option appealing to many defendants. For example, if you are admitted to the program, your criminal case is placed on hold while you are on ARD probation. You must comply with the terms and conditions of the program, but if you do, you may avoid the harsh penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction.
One of the most appealing benefits of ARD is the chance to avoid a criminal record. When you complete the ARD program, you are eligible to have your criminal records, including the arrest records and the ARD disposition, expunged. Because a DUI conviction and criminal record can have significant negative consequences for your future, you must consider all options for addressing a drunk driving charge. A DUI conviction and criminal record can prevent you from getting the job you want or furthering your education. The ability to expunge a criminal record can be a very important factor when considering how to proceed with a drunk driving charge.
However, your Edinboro criminal defense lawyer should carefully consider all options, including potential defenses, the strength of the state’s case, and other alternatives before deciding whether the ARD Program is your best option for dealing with a DUI charge.
If your attorney is not willing to discuss all available options, including any potential consequences and risks associated with each option, you may want to consider a second opinion. It is in your best interest for your attorney to thoroughly investigate the traffic stop, the arrest, and the evidence because you could have a valid defense to the DUI charge that might result in a dismissal of the charges.
Contact an Edinboro DUI Defense Lawyer
Our criminal defense lawyers treat each DUI case the same — we thoroughly investigate all matters related to the charge, evaluate the state’s evidence, analyze all potential options, and advise you of the risks of each option before we give you our experienced legal opinion about each option. We believe you deserve to hear all options so that you can make an informed decision about how you want to proceed with your DUI defense.
Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Edinboro DUI attorneys.