I got a DUI in January. I got in ARD in April. I got a second DUI in July. What am I looking at?
This is a very complicated answer. There are four scenarios. In general, if you get ARD (accelerated rehabilitative disposition) for a DUI (driving under the influence), you complete ARD, and you get a new DUI, that new DUI is considered a second DUI for legal purposes in Pennsylvania. Your sentence would be based on the DUI mandatory minimums for a second DUI. That range of time is 5 days, 30 days, or 90 days depending on what is found in your body based on the testing. If the testing is called a “refusal” its 90 days.
The second scenario is when the second arrest is not in the same county as the first arrest. There is a chance, however slight, that the second county will not know that you are on ARD in the first county. If that is the case, you should plea guilty as soon as possible to the second DUI, because if they don’t know about the ARD DUI, they may treat the second DUI as a first DUI. The range of time for that is zero days in jail, 48 hours, or 72 hours depending on what is found in your body based on testing. If the testing is called a “refusal” its 72 hours. Be careful doing this as it can blow-up on you.
The third scenario is when both the old and new case are in the same county and the county has a policy of yanking ARD for DUIs when you get a second DUI while on ARD for a first DUI. In that case, you will be able to fight both cases simultaneously. However, you don’t want to fight anything, you want to plea on the case with the higher tier, then get a continuance on the case with the lower tier. Then after you do your time on the higher tier, plea on the second DUI with the lower tier. That way you get the least amount of time. The only exception to this answer is that some counties allow you to serve work release or house arrest on your DUIs. If this happened in one of those counties, you should combine the cases and take work release or house arrest; especially house arrest.
The fourth scenario only pertains to Philadelphia County. In that case, if you are on ARD and they do NOT revoke the ARD, the new DUI is a second DUI, see answer one above. However, if they revoke the ARD in Philly, you can do something very special. In Philly, you can take a de novo appeal (a do over) even after a plea (called a stipulated trial). Accordingly, you take either case and do a stip trial (open plea), get the mandatory minimum on a first DUI as stated in answer 2 above. Then you take a de novo appeal, which erases the conviction. Then do a stip trial on the other case. You should get the mandatory minimum as a first DUI because the de novo appeal on the first case erased the conviction; you should get a sentence for a first DUI; see answer 2 above. Then appear in Common Pleas Court for the de novo appeal and withdraw the appeal; the lower court sentence will be reinstated as a matter of law. In effect, you get two first DUIs. Note, that you should wait thirty days from the date of the sentencing in the second case to withdraw the de novo appeal because the District Attorney can’t appeal to the Superior Court once 30 have past because after 30 days the sentencing is a final order and an appeal is deemed void abinitio! If you don’t wait 30 days, the DA will appeal to the Superior Court and we don’t want that.
License Issues: as an aside, if you get a second DUI while driving on a suspended ARD DUI license, you are looking at 90 days just for the driving while suspended. If the DA has any salt, they will use that as leverage against you to get you to plea on the two DUIs together. Also, stop driving until the state gives you your license back, and even then consider not driving. If you get a third, you are going to go to jail for a very very long time.