Who Will Find Out About Your Pennsylvania DUI Arrest?
Being arrested is an unpleasant ordeal – there’s simply no way around that. Individuals who have been arrested for a Pennsylvania DUI will have to confront many difficult questions about their arrest and its effects on their future.
Most people who are arrested for DUI or DWI have no prior first-hand experience with the justice system, and in turn, have numerous questions and concerns about what to expect. It is very common for people who have been arrested for DWI or DUI to be nervous about the punitive actions they may be subject to — and of course, about their public image. They are likely to wonder: “Who will find out? Will I receive a criminal record? Will I ever be able to work again?
Our Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers are intimately familiar with the full spectrum of DUI and DWI litigation. As an experienced attorney, Gail Marr has been afforded a rich inside perspective into how DUI charges play out, from the arrest to the courtroom — including the way those charges are handled by the press.
Oftentimes, Marr’s DUI clients have the same pressing questions for him: “Will my DUI arrest become public knowledge printed in the newspapers? Will my family, friends, or employer find out about it?”
According to Marr:
A lot of times, it does wind up in newspapers in some of the smaller counties — not Philadelphia. However, in papers in other counties, there is a daily police log and a list of people arrested. A lot of times the paper does publish who gets ARD, and who pleads guilty.
ARD: Pennsylvania First Offense DUI Program
Everyone has heard the term “plead guilty,” but what does it mean to “get ARD”?
ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) is a program offered by the state of Pennsylvania to select DUI offenders, as an alternative to jail sentencing and a criminal record. Needless to say, ARD is highly coveted by individuals who have been arrested for impaired driving, and the requirements to be selected for the program are tough.
To qualify for ARD, there are two basic requirements which DUI offenders must meet:
- No previous criminal record, period. Even a misdemeanor will disqualify a candidate.
- The current DUI charges must be misdemeanor charges. ARD is not applicable to felony cases (e.g. vehicular homicide).
Potential inductees into the Pennsylvania ARD program are evaluated and admitted at the discretion of the District Attorney. If an individual is accepted for ARD, the charges are dismissed, and their criminal slate is wiped clean. That means that not only is jail time avoided, but in the future, job applicants can truthfully answer “No” when asked if they have any criminal history.
Can My DUI Records Be Found Online?
Of course, not everyone can or will be accepted into the ARD program. Even for those who are, ARD is not a silver bullet for negative publicity. In a digital age, details of arrests and criminal charges may be preserved on the internet, as Marr points out.
The problem is, with the Internet it is always going to be out there pretty much forever. Once it makes the paper, somebody on the Internet picks up on it. Then, your name is pretty much out there forever.
If your name, mugshot, or other details make an appearance on a web page, the best you can often do is contact the site owner and politely request the removal of the content. An experienced attorney may be able to determine if there are legal issues which could fortify your efforts to have your information removed. However, because your arrest is a public record, you may be facing difficult challenges when it comes to controlling information shared on the internet.
Can Employers Find Out About My DUI Arrest in Pennsylvania?
What if you are employed when you are arrested for DWI or DUI? Will your employer be contacted? Will you be fired?
As far as work finding out about it, nobody usually contacts your job unless you are going to be on house arrest. On house arrest, they let you work. However, the house arrest people have to confirm where you work. They do contact your employer.
A DUI or DWI conviction is not necessarily grounds for an automatic firing. It depends largely upon your work environment. For example, government employees tend to be more prone to a DUI- or DWI-based job termination than individuals who work in the private sector, or who are protected by a union. Professional drivers and individuals who work in transportation are often at an elevated risk of termination due to the nature of the charges.
Being fired for a DUI or DWI offense is not guaranteed, but it is a very real possibility. As Marr warns:
I have had teachers lose their jobs because the house arrest department calls the school district. They wind up getting terminated because they got a DUI. Oh yes, there are far-reaching consequences of criminal convictions — absolutely.
Pennsylvania DUI Defense Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
DWI and DUI are serious legal matters that can lead to jail sentences, huge fines, inconvenient license suspensions, and other penalties. If you or someone you love is facing allegations of DUI or DWI, it is critical to your case and your future that you retain an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as you are able. At Young, Marr & Associates, 98% of our first-offense DUI clients receive no criminal record and no jail time. To arrange for a free and private consultation with a DWI lawyer, call (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates today.