Friday, August 27, 2021

ARD Can Be Considered a Prior Conviction in Some Contexts


In the case of Davilla v. Dept. of Transp., No. 4478-CV-2020 (C.P. Monroe Co. June 11, 2021 Higgins, J.), the court denied a licensee’s suspension appeal.

This decision is of note given that the court ruled that the licensee’s prior acceptance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program was properly considered to be a prior conviction under the Motor Vehicle Code for purposes of imposing a civil collateral consequence of his conviction.

According to the Opinion, the licensee previously entered into an ARD Program due to a prior DUI.

While the court noted, based upon Pennsylvania precedent, that prior acceptance into an ARD Program could not be considered to be a prior offense in order to increase a criminal penalty against the licensee, this matter involved a civil proceeding.

The court noted that a license suspension is a collateral civil consequence of a criminal conviction. Accordingly, the court found that the licensee’s prior ARD acceptance was considered a prior conviction under the Motor Vehicle Code for purposes of imposing a civil collateral consequence of his conviction.

As such, the court denied the licensee’s license suspension appeal.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.


Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions,” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (July 29, 2021).


Commentary: This decision may raise a question as to whether a DUI Defendant’s acceptance into an ARD Program may count as a criminal conviction for DUI under the Motor Vehicle Code for purposes of determining whether a limited tort Plaintiff falls under an exception to the limited tort rule where the accident involved a DUI Defendant.


Source of image:  Photo by Mathilde Langevin on unsplash.com.

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