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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

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

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Attorney answers 3


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

Jason S Dunkle

Jason S Dunkle


I disagree with my colleague below when he states that you are not eligible for ARD. Section 3807 of the Vehicle Code contains a list of 3 factors that prohibit ARD consideration, and 1 of those factors relates to prior offenses . On that issue, the law states that "the attorney for the Commonwealth shall not submit a charge brought under this chapter (meaning a DUI) for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition if any of the following apply:(i) The defendant has been found guilty of or accepted Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition of a charge brought under section 3802 within ten years of the date of the current offense unless the charge was for an ungraded misdemeanor under section 3802(a)(2) and was the defendant's first offense under section 3802." As long as your prior offense is outside the 10 year look back window, you are ELIGIBLE. As noted in my post, ARD eligibility does not mean that you would be approved. A DA many still deny the ARD application because of the prior offenses. The fact remains that you should consult with a local Pittsburgh attorney to have them review your case and give a more detailed opinion on how your case should be handled. I would recommend contacting Jill Sinatra at 412-944-2219. Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire


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


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

Responses provided by Joseph A. Paletta, Esq., and the members of this lawfirm 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 by answering this question. If you would like to consult with this office, please feel free to contact us at 412.391.7999 or by sending an E-Mail to & we will contact you.

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