Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in Pennsylvania are considered criminal offenses and can lead to severe punishments. Beyond serving your sentence, a DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences, including job limitations and missed opportun (2024)

Who Is Eligible for DUI Expungement in Pennsylvania?

The eligibility for expungement in Pennsylvania is limited. According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122, a person's criminal history can be expunged under three conditions:

  1. Age and Clean Record: Expungement may be available if you are at least 70 years old and have remained free of arrests and prosecutions for at least 10 years following the completion of your last sentence.

  2. Deceased Status: Expungement is possible if the person has been deceased for at least 3 years.

  3. Summary Offense Expungement: Expungement may be possible for a person petitioning the court for the expungement of a summary offense, provided they have been free of arrests and prosecutions for at least 5 years since the end of their last sentence.

In short, to be eligible for expungement, you must be at least 70 years old, deceased for 3 years, or seeking to expunge a summary offense. If you are looking to expunge a more serious offense like a felony or misdemeanor, you will need to explore other avenues. Given that most DUIs fall under misdemeanors or felonies, the usual expungement channels are likely unavailable. For a thorough understanding of your legal options, consult our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys.

How to Expunge a DUI in Pennsylvania

Expunging a DUI in Pennsylvania often requires alternative methods like the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. The ARD program aims to help DUI defendants avoid jail time and expunge their DUIs. However, specific criteria must be met before entering the program, which can vary by county. For instance, the Philadelphia ARD program typically requires defendants to be first-time DUI offenders. Other counties might have more lenient rules. To determine your county's ARD program criteria, consult our Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys.

Once admitted to the ARD program, you must comply with all conditions imposed by the court, including alcohol treatment, license suspension, restitution payments, court costs, community service, and any additional conditions deemed necessary. If you successfully complete the program, your charges will be dismissed, and your DUI record can be expunged.

How Long Does It Take to Get a DUI Expunged in Pennsylvania?

Under the ordinary expungement conditions mentioned earlier, it may take a significant amount of time to have your DUI expunged. If eligible, your charges could be dismissed when you turn 70 years old. However, in most cases, DUI charges are likely to remain on your record for life. If you are fortunate enough to enter an ARD program, you could have your DUI expunged much more quickly. Generally, the program lasts a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 2 years, with an average duration of about 1 year. For detailed information on expunging your DUI, consult our Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys. Hopefully, you can enter an ARD program and resolve your charges sooner rather than later.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Record Expunged in PA?

The cost of expunging your DUIs in Pennsylvania can vary depending on the specifics of your case. Typical fees may include court costs and various filing fees, which can differ from county to county. Before initiating the process, it is advisable to consult our Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers to understand the expenses involved in expunging your record in your particular county.

Moreover, many ARD programs may require restitution payments to victims. Intoxicated drivers involved in accidents may cause property damage or harm others, resulting in financial obligations. The court may require you to compensate victims for these costs before expunging your DUI through the ARD program. If you are concerned about the financial burden, our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers can assist in working with the court to find a solution that allows you to fulfill your obligations without paying the entire amount upfront. However, failure to comply with restitution requirements could jeopardize your completion of the ARD program.

How Long do DUIs Stay on Your Record in PA?

Unless expunged, DUIs typically remain on your criminal record indefinitely. However, it is important to understand that your driving record and criminal record are separate entities. Your driving record may impact future driving violations or offenses, including DUI charges. Pennsylvania follows a 10-year lookback rule, which means only DUIs from the past 10 years are considered when assessing new DUI charges. After 10 years, prior DUIs cannot be used against you. However, it is worth noting that potential employers, especially those requiring driving as part of the job, may still have access to your old DUI records. For comprehensive information on this matter, consult our Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers.

How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance in PA?

The duration of insurance consequences following a DUI in Pennsylvania may vary based on the circ*mstances of the offense, your history of DUIs, and your insurance provider. Even a single DUI is likely to result in increased insurance costs. More severe DUIs, such as those with the highest BAC levels, may lead to even higher insurance rates or an extended period of increased rates. Drivers with a history of multiple DUIs may face similar consequences. The length of time your insurance is impacted may depend on your insurance provider's leniency. Some providers may automatically reduce your rates to normal levels after a specific DUI-free period, while others may require a request and evidence to prove you are not a high-risk driver. To navigate the complexities of insurance matters following a DUI, it is advisable to consult our Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyers.

Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer to Help Clear Your Record

If you have been charged with a DUI and seek to expunge your record, our Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys are here to assist you. Expunging a DUI can be a challenging process, and the ARD program may be the most viable option. Contact The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case review. Our experienced team will guide you through the expungement process and help you navigate the legal complexities to achieve the best possible outcome.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in Pennsylvania are considered criminal offenses and can lead to severe punishments. Beyond serving your sentence, a DUI conviction can have long-lasting consequences, including job limitations and missed opportun (2024)


What is the penalty for driving under the influence in PA? ›

General Impairment DUIs
1st Offense2nd Offense
Jail6 months of probation5 days to 6 months
Fines$300$300 to $2,500
License SuspensionNone12 months

Is a DUI considered a criminal offense in Pennsylvania? ›

Most DUI offenses are considered a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. Usually, only serious DUI offenses could be labeled as a felony. First-time and second-time DUI offenses are both generally categorized as misdemeanors, while third-time or repeat DUI offenses could be considered second-degree misdemeanors.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in PA? ›

In Pennsylvania, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for life unless it is expunged or given limited access relief. Because your conviction is a matter of public record, it will be reflected in your criminal background and credit records as well as your insurance and driver's license history.

What is the lookback period for a DUI in PA? ›

Pennsylvania has a 10-year "lookback" period for prior DUI convictions, meaning that if you're arrested for driving under the influence within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, you can receive harsher consequences than you would for a first-time driving under the influence conviction.

What is a Tier 3 DUI in Pennsylvania? ›

Pennsylvania DUI offenses are rated on a 3 tier system.

10% up to . 159% and a Tier 3 offense is for a BAC level of . 16% or higher. The Tier system is used for every offense.

Is a 2nd DUI a felony in PA? ›

For a first or second offense, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. A subsequent offense can result in third-degree felony charges. Call our Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys for help if you are facing charges for a second DUI.

What is the 10 year rule for DUI in PA? ›

This means that at the time of sentencing on a DUI case, the judge looks at when the person was arrested for DUI on the current case, goes back 10 years into the past, and every DUI sentencing or ARD placement within that time frame is counted as a prior offense.

What is the 5 day rule for DUI in PA? ›

DUI offenders are to be released promptly following arrest unless: 1) they pose a danger to themselves or others; or 2) the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe they will not appear in court as required. Upon release, a criminal complaint shall be filed within 5 days.

In what states is DUI not a criminal offense? ›

Is driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUI/DWI) a felony or a misdemeanor? In all states except New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, a first-time conviction for driving under the influence is a misdemeanor1 and can result in jail time, significant fines, and the loss of driving privileges.

Can a DUI be dismissed in PA? ›

According to recent statistics, the percentage of DUI cases that are dismissed in Pennsylvania tends to hover around 10%. This means that a majority of people end up facing penalties, fines, or even jail time if they are convicted.

Can you lose your job for a DUI in PA? ›

A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Employment

One thing that you should know if you have been arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania is that being convicted of a DUI can cause you to lose your job (in addition to the penalties that the court imposes).

How to beat a DUI in Pennsylvania? ›

How Can You Fight a DUI Charge in Pennsylvania?
  1. You Weren't Actually Driving Under the Influence. ...
  2. You Weren't In “Actual Physical Control” of Your Vehicle. ...
  3. Your Breath Test Result is Unreliable. ...
  4. Your Field Sobriety Test Results are Unreliable. ...
  5. The Police Stopped You Without Reasonable Suspicion.

What is the new DUI law in Pennsylvania? ›

The new law creates a higher set of penalties for those having higher BAC levels. It allows for treament at all levels, and requires alcohol highway safety school for all first and second time offenders. For those at the highest BAC levels, the new law has strict penalties, but also allows for treatment.

Will a DUI show up on a background check in PA? ›

A DUI conviction, and any other conviction, will be on a background check as it's part of your criminal history report. The background check will likely show the following information related to your DUI: The case number and disposition of the case.

What is the 2 hour rule for DUI in PA? ›

Section 3802(g) of Pennsylvania's drunk driving law states an exception to the two-hour rule. If the prosecution can show that they could not have reasonably obtained a chemical sample within two hours of the person's arrest, the court may choose to admit the evidence.

What is the first offense for drunk driving in PA? ›

All first DUI offenses in Pennsylvania are treated as ungraded misdemeanors. If your BAC was below 0.10 percent, you may serve probation but not jail time. For higher BAC levels, you may spend up to six months in jail. You will pay $300 for a low BAC and up to $5,000 for higher levels.

What happens when you get pulled over for a DUI in PA? ›

Once a police officer in Pennsylvania stops you under suspicion of DUI, they may arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you were intoxicated at the time of driving. After the arrest, they will take you back to the police station, where you have the option of taking a blood, breath or urine test.

What is a sentence for driving under the influence? ›

Learn about the drunk driving laws in all 50 states.
StateMinimum JailMinimum License Suspension
California4 days to 6 months30 days to 10 months
ColoradoUp to 1 year (DUI), or up to 180 days (DWAI)9 months (DUI), none for DWAI
Connecticut2 days up to 6 months1 year
DelawareMax. 6 months1 to 2 years
47 more rows

How long do you lose your license for first DUI in PA? ›

A first-time DUI triggers 12-month license suspension if your blood alcohol content was . 10 or higher. Many first offenders are eligible for ARD (accelerated rehabilitative disposition), which avoids jail time and decreases license suspension to 30 or 60 days.


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