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Is it possible to avoid "mandatory jail" for first dui?

Cranberry Township, PA |

First dui with accident to an unattended vehicle, Is it possible to avoid the mandatory jail sentence, highest tier?

Probably won't get ARD.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. You may be eligible for a first time offenders program known as ARD. Under this program you are put on probation without verdict. Once the program is completed, the charges are dismissed a d you can have the case expunged. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who will pursue all options for you. Good luck.


  2. Yes it is possible. You would want to contact an attorney who handles DUI cases in the County where this occurred. You will want to go over any and all defenses that may be available to you. There is also a program called ARD in Pennsylvania which is run be each individual DA's office. If you are accepted into the ARD program there is no jail time, a license suspension of 1-3 months depending on your age, blood alcohol level, drugs in system, or refusal. Again, this is something you should talk over with an attorney so you understand all your options and can make an informed decision. I hope this helps!!!


  3. I assume that you did not qualify for ARD because of the accident. My office always files second request for ARD after rejection, finding specific reasons why you personally should qualify. But that is the only way (short of acquittal) to avoid mandatory sentence


  4. I agree with the concensus here that avoiding jail time is a legitimate goal but by no means a certain one. You need to speak privately and confidentially with a qualified criminal defense attorney without delay. Most of us here, myself included offer free consultations. Take advantage of that opportunity to get some concrete guidance. Good luck.


  5. It depends on the local county. In some counties, like York, there is no jail for ordinary first offense DUI cases where there is no prior record. They've shifted to house arrest and alcohol monitors. The county you live in, your prior record score, whether and when you seek any treatment, and a pile of other factors can affect the answer to this.

    You probably don't want to hear this, but spend a few bucks and consult with a local attorney who does mostly criminal defense and DUI work. Don't talk to the person who did the closing on your house, for instance. They likely do not know any more than you do.

    I do not represent you. You should hire an attorney. Only after meeting you and talking to you during a review of your case can a solid assessment be made of the case and any likely outcome. Do not rely on my advice unless you hire me.


  6. Yes, it is. The question of whether or not you receive jail time primarily depends on the judge, the county, the amount of time you have already served from your arrest and whether or not you plead versus convicted at trial. Most judges in most counties around the metro-Atlanta area will usually give no more than 24 hours (less time served from arrest) to first time offenders who plea. Some give no additional time at all even though the defendant has not served 24 hours in jail. In Newton County (Conyers / Covington), the minimum time is 72 hours.


  7. A good attorney will try to get you ARD regardless of whether you may not be eligible.

    Avoiding jail may be difficult. Some counties offer Intermediate Punishment where you serve some of your sentence on house arrest. Be aware there are mandatory minimums for 1st offense DUIs in Pennsylvania and a good criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you regarding potential jail time in your county.

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