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Commonwealth v. Love 2008 PA Super 218

Topic: Repeat Offender-DUI

Brief Legal Summary: For the purposes of 3804(b)(2), ARD is considered a conviction on the date of acceptance.

Case Summary: Appellant William Joseph Love was convicted of DUI and sentenced as a repeat offender under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3806(b).

Love was arrested and charged with DUI in February 2006. He was accepted into the ARD program in June 2006. In September 2006, Love was arrested and charged with a second DUI. Love was removed from the ARD program in March 2007. In September 2007, Love was found guilty of the September 2006 DUI. Love entered a guilty plea to the February 2006 DUI. Love was sentenced on his September 2006 DUI in November 2007 as a repeat offender.

According to 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3806, a defendant who is convicted of a second or subsequent DUI within a ten year period is subject to an stricter punishment. The trial court reasoned that under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3806(a)(1) and (b)(1), Love’s first DUI, which resulted in his acceptance into ARD, was considered a conviction as of the date he was accepted into ARD. On appeal, Love argued that the trial court erred in considering his ARD a conviction as of the date he was first accepted into the program rather than the date he entered his guilty plea for that offense.

The Superior Court concluded:

For the purposes of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3806(b), a DUI which results in the acceptance into an ARD program is considered a conviction as of the date the defendant is accepted into the ARD program. Simply put, acceptance, not fulfillment, triggers the repeat offender provision.