Posts Tagged ‘Second Time Offender Program (STOP)’

Berks County’s DUI STOP Program

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Today I represented 2 individuals who are both charged with 2nd time DUI offenses in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Under mandatory sentencing laws a highest tier (.16+) DUI carries a 90 day jail if it is the second such offense within the last 10 years. With a second time conviction an offender also faces an 18 month license suspension followed by ignition interlock.

Fortunately, Berks County has an excellent program known as “STOP” or the Second Time Offenders Program for Driving Under the Influence. A successful candidate with a highest tier offense will end up with a 5 day jail sentence plus 85 days on house arrest or in a halfway house rather than the 90 day prison sentence. Additionally, the successful candidate will receive personalized treatment and counseling depending on the nature and extent of their substance abuse issues. Over the years the Berks County STOP program has done a terrific job of rehabilating offenders while protecting the public.

The laws in Pennsylvania are tough on repeat DUI offenders. For more information on alternative sentencing in Berks County call our office for a free consultation. You may be eligible for ARD, STOP or DUI Treatment Court.

DUI Second Time Offender Program in Berks County PA

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

This morning I represented a client charged with a second offense DUI in Reading, PA.  Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing law an individual charged with a second DUI within ten years faces a 90 day mandatory prison sentence if the BAC at the time of the DUI was above a .16.  In Berks County a special program, known commonly as STOP, has been created for the benefit and rehabilitation of offenders.

This particular case involved a rather high BAC as well as a single vehicle accident. After consulting with my client initially several months ago, we made the determination to begin the STOP application process. Today, several months later, he formally entered a plea and was sentenced to the term of the program. Rather than a 90 day jail sentence he recieved 5 days in jail and the additional 85 days on house arrest with supervised release to follow. Additionally, he will be able to take advantage of ongoing treatment and counseling as directed.

If you or a loved one is facing a second or third DUI in Berks County, Pennsylvania please contact our office to discuss the options. I have successfully represented over a hundred people who have taken advantage of either the STOP or DUI Treatment Court program in Berks County over the last 6 years. Call now for a no cost consultation.

2nd Offense DUI? – Berks County Second Time Offender Program (STOP)

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Under current Pennsylvania state law, a second offense DUI is defined as a DUI occurring within 10 years of the disposition date of a prior DUI.  In other words, it is the date the previous DUI was disposed of, by way of a guilty plea or entry onto an ARD Program, that is most critical.  This can be confusing in that often times a DUI takes many months or even years to work its way through the criminal justice system.

Take a situation where a defendant was charged with a DUI occurring in March of 1999.  Perhaps it took until March of 2001 until the defendant finally plead guilty to this DUI.  Now say this same defendant is again charged with a DUI occurring in March of 2010.  Although he may initially think that this is not a second offense since there is an 11 year gap between 1999 and 2010, he would be incorrect.  The proper date to look at is the disposition date, March of 2001, which is clearly within the 10 year “lookback” period.

A second offense DUI carries more severe penalties as compared to a first offense.  Mandatory sentencing for a second offense DUI ranges from 5 days up to 90 days depending on a defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC).

There is, however, a special program in place in Berks County which allows defendants to reduce the amount of mandatory jail time that they are facing.  The Second Time Offender Program, known locally as STOP, allows defendants to take advantage of a combination of treatment and counseling in lieu of the mandatory prison sentence.  Defendants are still required to spend a period of time in Berks County Prison, although, as previously stated, it is a significantly reduced sentence.

Our firm has successfully represented many clients who were charged with a second offense DUI.  Although our firm always looks for ways to beat our clients’ DUI cases, we find that many times STOP represents the best outcome for our clients.  If you are charged with a second offense DUI and would like to discuss your case in more detail, including questions about the Second Time Offender Program, call today to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys.