Judge Heading to First-Time Offenders Program

Law concept, gavel, scale and books

A magistrate in Pennsylvania is accused of drunk driving and plans to apply for the state’s program for first-time offenders. According to reports, the 29-year-old district judge will apply to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. The program gives first-time offenders the chance to avoid jail time and have their records wiped clear of the DUI charges.

The Program’s Purpose

People make mistakes and many believe that a single bad decision should not ruin a person’s life. Such is the purpose of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. When an offender successfully completes the program, they avoid jail and are given the opportunity to clear their record of the current charges. The program not only works to benefit the offender, but the already overloaded dockets as well. When a person applies to and is accepted in the program, they avoid trials and other court proceedings.

Admission Into the Program

Admission into the program is not guaranteed. A candidate must first apply to the program, and they are screened by the officials running it. To be admitted, the offender must have received a driving under the influence charge for the first time in their lives. They must also agree to comply with the rules and restrictions of the program.

Requirements of the Program

Once admitted, the offender promises to adhere to the requirements of the program. Specific requirements may vary from case to case but, in general, a participant can expect to have to:

  • Complete community service
  • Complete a driving course
  • Complete drug and alcohol counseling
  • Comply with a driver’s license suspension
  • Eliminate alcohol or drug use
  • Pay any costs required by court
  • Pay restitution
  • Waive right to speedy trial
  • Not be charged with any other criminal offenses during the program

When ARD Is Not the Best Option

For most first-time offenders, it is unusual not to take advantage of ARD. For some, however, taking part in the program will not alleviate the effects to a person’s livelihood. If the disposition in an ARD case will negatively impact a person’s employment, such as it may for professional drivers, an attorney may advise their client to explore other avenues of disposition to the case.

Being charged with driving under the influence is incredibly serious and should be taken so. It can also be a very frightening experience for the accused who may not be aware of what will happen in the future. No person should fight these charges on their own. People will have the best outcome when they rely on an experienced DUI attorney to handle their case.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, contact our team of reputable attorneys for assistance. We practice throughout the state and are ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you. We understand that not only your reputation, but your livelihood, is on the line. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and let us begin building your defense.