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I was charged with dui after a bac revealed a .18 It is my first offense and I don't have much money for an attorney.

Harrisburg, PA |
Attorney answers 4


If this is your first offense you should be eligible for the ARD program. This is a program designed for first time offenders with no record. If you successfully complete ARD there would be no jail time, no conviction and a license suspension of 2 months in your case rather than a year. You may also have some defenses to consider and for that reason at minimum I would contact the Public Defender in the county where this occurred to understand your rights and possible scenarios in your situation if you cannot afford a private attorney. I hope this was of some help to you.


Although I do not see a question, I presume you are looking for advice. While this board can provide general information, it cannot substitute for the advice of an attorney following a full review of the facts of your case.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for representation by a public defender. However, you should first attempt to contact attorneys to determine their fees. Many, like me, offer free consultations or case evaluations.

For more information about DUI law, procedure, and defenses, click a link below.

F. Dean Morgan
The Morgan Law Firm
Hershey, PA

Shawn Michael Curry

Shawn Michael Curry


There is only one way to determine if you can afford an attorney: talk to one. If you find out that your perception is consistent with reality, you are no worse off and at least you know your answer is based in fact and not an assumption. Good luck.


First, see if you qualify for court appointed counsel. If not, find a way to pay for counsel. While this is a first offense, you fall into the highest blood alcohol level category. Therefore, in the absence of ARD, you face:
12 month license suspension
72 hours to 6 months prison
$1,000 to $5,000 fine
alcohol highway safety school
treatment when ordered

I am an attorney in Pennsylvania but I am not currently *your* attorney. Nothing in my communication should be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship. Please contact me if you wish to retain me as your counsel.


You may qualify for that particular county's ARD program, which is a first time offender program that can result in the charges being dismissed. Most criminal attorneys will offer a free consultation, so it may benefit you to at least set up an appointment with an attorney who has experience handling DUI cases in the county that you were arrested.

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