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The alternative to a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania

Everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more serious than others. Sometimes, the police get involved and you are arrested and charged with a crime like drinking and driving.

DUI is a crime in Pennsylvania, potentially punishable by jail time and the loss of your driver’s license. This is a scary prospect, especially if you have never been in trouble with the law before.

DUI is a crime in Pennsylvania, potentially punishable by jail time and the loss of your driver’s license. This is a scary prospect, especially if you have never been in trouble with the law before.

Fortunately, there may be an alternative. The state of Pennsylvania offers an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for people charged with DUI for the first time. The ARD Program can help you avoid the risk of a jail sentence and other standard penalties.

To qualify, you must meet the following:

  • No prior convictions or ARD disposition
  • You did not cause serious injury to someone in an accident
  • There wasn’t a passenger under 14 in the vehicle
  • You had a valid driver’s license when you were arrested
  • You undergo a Court Reporting Network evaluation
  • You apply for ARD at your preliminary hearing

If you are approved, you will get one year of probation instead of jail. Your license will be suspended 30 or 60 days, depending on the circumstances, instead of the standard one year. In addition, you must attend DUI school, perform community service and pay fines and costs.

This type of DUI diversion program is common in other states. As KYW-TV reports, golf legend Tiger Woods has entered a similar program in his home state of Florida following an arrest on suspicion of DUI on Memorial Day. He reportedly pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a reduced charge, and will have to submit to probation, attend DUI school and avoid drugs and alcohol.

Whether this is a viable option for you is a conversation you should have with your defense attorney, if you are facing DUI charges.

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