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I got a DUI in Feb.2012. have not had a drink since. 1.7 BAC.

Greensburg, PA |

My lawyer says I can't get off with just a 60 or 90 day lic. suspension . or no jail time. I feel I'm getting robbed. I had an offense 25 yrs. ago in upstate NY where I'm from. The Asst.. DA said I would be OK for ARD and suggested it to the DA, he refused saying because I had a proir offense in NY .. I feel the I'm being wronged , Im 62 yrs old. have an 11 yr. old,and they want to incarcerate me for 72 hrs. and suspend my license for 1yr. I don't drink anymore , quit the day I got the DUI. It was my B-Day,that was the first time I drank and drove in 25 yrs. My wife , son and I have no family here in PA, closest is in Saratoga NY,.Do I have a case, my court date is DEC. 14th 2012 in Greensburg, pa , I don't belive my atty. is doing enough plea bargaining. Joe

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Attorney answers 4


I hate to learn of any person losing faith in their counselor. Some lawyers do give
up easily and don't stick their necks out for clients. Sometimes clients just don't have a realistic grasp for having to face consequences for their conduct.

Hopefully a PA lawyer will see your circumstances and can give you some feedback about whether your offer is normal or a bad deal. If not, consider consulting with another reputable lawyer in your area and ask or a second opinion.

Good luck.


Your attorney is attempting to have you placed into the first time offenders program known as ARD. Each county has the discretion to interpret that to mean first offense ever or first offense within 10 years. It appears your county is second the second approach. Your attorney can ask for reconsideration. If it is refused, he can ask for electronic home monitoring instead of jail if your county has this in place. As to the license suspension, after 60 days, he can petition Pendot for a work license.


I tell many of my clients that there is not a lot of fairness or "justice" that emanates from the criminal "justice" system. Recent case law in PA has held that the DA makes the ARD decision. While you are "eligible" under the law, whether or not you get ARD is still up to the DA, not a judge. The DA's decision can only be overruled by a judge if the decision is made for some improper reason, such as race, ethnicity, or some other typical form of bias. If you are only being denied because of a DUI from 25 years ago, I agree with you that the DA's decision isn't fair. In Centre County, the ARD rules are very lenient, and I have had people with DUIs as recently as 12 years ago approved, and some of those clients had higher blood alcohol levels.

Plea bargaining often involves showing the DA that your client deserves a break and threatening to proceed to trial and litigate if you do not obtain an acceptable agreement. The threat of litigation is often effective in obtaining a better resolution, BUT that threat only works if you have some legal issues to fight. DAs generally are simply not very lenient in resolving DUI cases and do not reduce the charges or waiver from the mandatory minimum sentences unless they are forced. As noted in another post, if you do not feel that your attorney is doing enough, call another attorney in your area for a second opinion. You need to get an opinion from an attorney with experience in that county as you want someone that is familiar with the DA and the DA's tendencies in dealing with DUI cases.

Jason S. Dunkle, Esq.
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 providing legal advice regarding an individual situation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and JD Law, P.C.


Unfortunately you are in a tough spot. ARD is up to the discretion of the DA. Many will not reset the click so to speak. Mr. Keller's advice to apply for reconsideration is a good one and may allow your attorney to make a pitch directly to the DA.

My guess is that you are more concerned with the license suspension than the 72 hours in jail. Keep in mind that not all counties permit electronic monitoring. Check with your counsel as to what they do in your county. With regard to the 1 year DL suspension,unfortunately that is not negotiable with a conviction.

You should check with your attorney regarding eligibility for an occupational limited license (OLL) which you might be eligible for after serving 60 days of your suspension,and would permit you to drive to work.

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.

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