Wht to do if I received an underage citation?

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Wht to do if I received an underage citation?

I plan to take the ARD route to get it expunged from my record, however I was curious if it is hard to get approved for the ARD program. I’m very new to this and have never been any situation of this sort; it was a wrong place at the wrong time incident where I did consume about half of an alcoholic beverage. I admit I was in the wrong; I just need to know if it is easy or hard to be approved for the program?

Asked on April 20, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, in terms of eligibility for the program, it is only available to first time DUI offenders. The fact is that the DA's office makes the decision as to whether or not a person will be admitted into the ARD program, so just because you are facing a first charge does not mean that you will be automatically admitted into the program. You will not be eligible if your DUI caused serious injury to anyone other than yourself or if there was a fatality involved. Futher, you won't be admitted into the program if you had a child under the age of 14 in the vehicle at the time you were stopped for the DUI.

That all having been said, even if you are eligible for the program does not mean you should automatically accept it. For one thing, if you should ever be arrested again for DUI in the future, you will no longer be a first-time offender, therefore you will have to go through the criminal justice system. So if your attorney thinks that you stand a good chance of having the charges against you dismissed or winning an acquittal at trial (for example, if there was a technical breach of your rights or accepted police procedure) it wouldn't make sense to accept and enter the program.

Bottom line, you should consult with a DUI attorney directly. Go over the facts of your case and see what they advise.

 


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