ARD | Drivers License
I was arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Philadelphia. I have a Philadelphia DUI Defense Attorney. I am very happy with the lawyer, but I am confused. I don’t think I did any thing wrong. I think I should be found not guilty. My lawyer tells me that I am ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) eligible and she wants to apply me for ARD. She told me that if I get ARD its like a guaranteed win. However, when I questioned her about it should told me I would lose my license for a very short period of time and have to pay a hefty fine. She says the ARD drivers license issue is important.
That doesn’t sound like a win to me. Can you explain?
First and foremost lets head-off the part that you think you should be found not guilty. What did your lawyer tell you about that; did she say she thinks you should be found not guilty? Did you ask her? The only guaranteed not guilty in a DUI case is if they took your blood and it comes back with all zeros. There are many many other ways to hear the words not guilty, but all zeros on a blood test is the only way you can know for sure you will win. Anything else is a fight.
Accordingly, let me answer your question assuming you do not have all zeros on a blood draw and so there is a chance (albeit slight) that you could lose.
After you are found guilty of a DUI with more then .10 of alcohol or any narcotics in your system, the DUI Penalties are that you are going to go to jail for either 48 hours or 72 hours. Also, you will lose your license for twelve (12) months. Worst of all you will have a permanent conviction on your criminal record forever that will come up in every background check for the rest of your life if the check searches for misdemeanor convictions.
If you get ARD under the same scenario, you will not serve any time, you will lose your license for a couple of months, you will not have any criminal record, and you can even get the arrest expunged. For the majority of my clients in your situation, the ARD drivers license issue is the deciding factor.
Seems like a no brainer to take ARD whether you did it or not, unless you get all zeros.