If there were 19 years between DUI’s, willit be considered a first offence?

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If there were 19 years between DUI’s, willit be considered a first offence?

My last DUI was 19 years ago and it resulted in an accident. I was recently stopped again at a police check point and arrested for DUI. Will I be eligible for the ARD program or does it count against me as a second offence even after 19 years. Also, is it possible that a lawyer can fight for my rights and plea bargain me down to a shorter driving suspension and jail time or make it possible for me to get a workman’s license, if I have no other way of getting to work. In PA.

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This will be considered to be your first offense. There is something in the law known as the "look back". This is the amount of time that a court can look back into your driving record for the purposes of determiningyour sentence. In PA this period is 10 years. So any DUI after that time is considered to be your first DUI for the purposes of imposing a penalty (although all DUI'sremain on your driving record). Therefore you would again be eligible for ARD.

The fact is that a DUI is a criminal matter, therefore you should have a defense attorney to represent you in this matter. They might be able to get the charge dismissed or at least reduced (or possibly win an acquittal at trial if itcomes to it). You should consult with one in the area in which your arrest occurred. Their local contacts could prove invaluable when representing your interests with the court.


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