I need to know if a recent DUI arrest will count as a first offense and if I will be eligible for the ARD program

Asked about 2 years ago - Pittsburgh, PA

I was arrestend on 9/10/2012 and charged with a DUI. I had a previous DUI in May of 1998 for which i was placed into the ARD program. I also was arrested on 9/17/2000 and charged with DUI. Iwas convicted in May of 2001 in that case. So it had been almost 12 years to the day of my last arrest. I have heard that after 10 years previous DUI's could bot be held against you,but don't know if that is actually the case. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jason S Dunkle

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Prior DUI convictions offenses can be considered by the prosecution in determining how to resolve your current DUI charge. The current DUI law imposes mandatory minimum sentences, and the number of prior offenses that occurred within the prior 10 years is a critical factor in determining what mandatory minimums are applicable. As your DUI charge was resolved more than 10 years ago, it would NOT be considered a "prior offense" for mandatory minimum purposes. This means that your current offense will be considered a first offense for mandatory minimum purposes. However, the DA can still consider the fact that you had a prior offense in determining how to resolve the case. The prior offense from over 10 years ago would not prohibit you from being eligible to be placed on ARD, but eligibility does NOT mean that you are automatically approved for ARD. A DA can deny an ARD application because of a prior offense occurring more than 10 years ago. If you were convicted, some DAs also seek an increased sentence from the mandatory minimum sentence because of the prior DUI.

    I recommend that you contact an experienced DUI attorney in Pittsburgh and have them review your case to see if there are issues that can be asserted to have the case dismissed or can be used as leverage in negotiating your case.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801
    (814) 954-7622

    The responses provided on this site are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as... more
  2. Joseph Alexander Paletta


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I suggest meeting with an Attorney within the county that the charges took place.

    There will be a number of factors that the District Attorney's Office will look at when considering your case for A.R.D.

    One such factor could be the actual case disposition of your previous D.U.I. (the one you mentioned was a 2001 conviction) and if that one was an actual conviction or if that one was an A.R.D. as the first was.

    You should consult with an Attorney face to face to discuss this in further detail.

    I am an Attorney in the Pittsburgh area and I do handle matters such as these. Please call my office to speak with me or my Paralegal Aimee at your earliest possible convenience.

    Feel free to explore our DUI Blog at -

    437 Grant Street, Suite 424
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    Aimee can also be reached at Aimee@lawyerpaletta.com

    Responses provided by Joseph A. Paletta, Esq., and the members of this lawfirm are intended for informational... more
  3. Ellis B. Klein


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are not eligible for ARD with a prior conviction. You need to contact an experienced local lawyer as you are facing mandatory jail time and license suspension if convicted.
    Good luck

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