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At the prelim, would I be able to convince the court to dismiss the charges and still have the ARD option in case they say no.

Malvern, PA |

I had an accident near home and walked to my house. I was stopped by police and I told them that I was driving. I was given the FST and taken for blood. I suspect the alcohol level to be tier 2 or 3. There might be minimal amount of cannabis in the blood as well. This is my first offense of any kind. I think I can convince the judge that I am innocent and I never drink and drive. I have my preliminary hearing soon. I would rather do ARD instead of trial but I want to try to avoid ARD as well. Can I explain my situation at the prelim or is the only way to get ARD is to sit quiet and waive the prelim. Please advice. Thanks!

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Attorney answers 3


Don't mess around with this, you really need counsel. You may indeed have a good defense as it sounds like there are some issues to work with but you are never going to convince the MDJustice that you don't drink and drive. It does not work that way. Credibility does not enter into the courts decision making process at that level. Whether you should waive or have the hearing is a decision that can only be wisely made after consultation with qualified criminal defense counsel.

This information does not create an attorney /client relationship and should not be use or relied upon to make any decision in your case. Only consultation with your own attorney can provide you with the advice you need for your case.


You should not be explaining anything at the preliminary hearing. You need a qualified criminal attorney to represent you and ARD appears to be your best option. Upon completion of the program, the criminal charges are dismissed and you will be able to have the record expunged.


My colleagues are absolutely correct. This is nothing to mess around with and play lawyer. You will undoubtedly lose. If this is a first offense and you have no prior convictions, you may qualify for ARD. Get an experienced criminal defense attorney before you go to the preliminary hearing and follow his/her instructions.