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My daughter received a summons for underage drinking. she was a passenger in a vehicle. we received the summons last friday

Harrisburg, PA |

how to you plead for trying to get inducted to the ARD program? do you have to pay the fine? Is this something she can handle by herself? She will be 21 on the 17th. This was her first offense.

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Attorney answers 3


In most counties, one does not plead into the ARD program, one applies for admission to the ARD program. If accepted, you will not need to plead at all, because ARD is not a conviction.

ARD admission, however, involves a lot of procedural hurdles. I strongly suggest that you speak with a local attorney to ensure that you do not accidentally waive eligibility, if that is the route you wish to pursue.

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ARD may not be the best option for her because of her age. Summary ARD in Dauphin County involves 40 hours of community service and a 50 dollar fee.

However, because she is almost 21, you should be aware that a conviction can be expunged after she completes her license suspension (90 days), pays the fine and reaches the age of 21.

Can she do this herself? Yes. Should she? Probably not. In many cases, the officer may "offer" a different charge to save her license, but the offer will actually result in the different charge remaining on her record for 5 years. There are a lot of variables to be considered anytime you deal with the criminal justice system.

F. Dean Morgan, Esq
150 W. Chocolate Ave.
Hershey, PA 17033


I would absolutely contact an attorney to go over your daughters case. Many times with underage drinking charges there are things that can be done to avoid a conviction and possibly avoid a DL suspension. Talk with an attorney and don't just go in a plead guilty as she also may have defenses.