A DUI in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor
and a conviction will give you a criminal record
. If you don't already have a date for court but your BAC was at least .08, you will receive a date in the mail. When you get one, it will be a good idea to retain a criminal lawyer to come to court with you.
The typical penalties for a first Pennsylvania DUI, when your BAC is at least .08 but is not over .10, is 6 months of probation, a fine, an alcohol assessment, and Pennsylvania's safe driving school. The penalties go up if your BAC is up.
If your BAC is in that .08 to .10 range and there has been no accident involved and no child under 14 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you would be eligible for ARD.
ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition, and essentially it is a special form of probation which will allow you to dispose of your case without going to trial
and working off your conviction by completing community service, paying fines, conseling or treatment as indicated and refraining from alcohol during the duration of your supervision period. If you complete all of that, your case will be dismissed so that you will not have to carry a conviction on your record.
The DA decides who gets ARD and who doesn't. So you may need your lawyer to negotiate that opportunity for you. One more reason you should have a lawyer to fight your case.
If you don't know where to find a Pennsylvania criminal lawyer, you can contact the Pennsylvania State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service, and for a referral fee of around $50, which includes a free half hour consultation with a lawyer, they can find you one.
You could still be eligible for ARD on a first arrest if your BAC is higher than .10, but you would also lose your license for 30 days if your BAC is over .10 but under .16 or for 60 days if your BAC is higher than .16.