Berks County DUI Diversionary Programs
If you’ve been charged with a first-offense DUI, then you may be eligible for the ARD program which you can read more about here. But what happens if you’ve been charged with a second-offense DUI or even a third or subsequent offense? Are there programs available in Berks County? Yes. There are two programs that are available in Berks County. Both are established by statute meaning that they are statewide programs. The first is the Second Time Offender Program (STOP) and the other is DUI Treatment Court. Both programs are run by the Berks County Adult Probation Office.
The STOP program is for those who have been charged which a second-offense DUI within 10 years. Admission into the program is not guaranteed and all applicants are screened and approved or denied. Most participants have been charged with a highest rate DUI which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days of incarceration, but is also available for those who have been charged with a high rate DUI and are facing a 30 days mandatory minimum sentence. The STOP program allows participants to complete 85 days of an inpatient treatment program or house arrest in lieu of jail time. Participants will still serve some amount of jail time, but it will be significantly less than the mandatory minimum sentence. Prior to sentencing, program participants must complete treatment requirements and maintain contact with the probation office. Applications for this program MUST be made within 3 days of your preliminary hearing.
Berks County DUI Treatment Court is generally for those who have been charged with a third or subsequent DUI within 10 years. Program participants have usually been charged with a highest rate DUI and are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year of incarceration. The purpose of DUI Treatment court is to allow an offender to participate in court-supervised treatment rather than incarceration. DUI Treatment Court participants are evaluated and a treatment plan is determined. DUI Treatment Court is a multi-phase program and participants graduate to each new level as they complete their requirements. The program takes at least 18 months to complete. All participants are required to attend DUI Treatment Court meetings. Berks County DUI Treatment Court participants will still do some amount of incarceration and will need to complete a period of electronic monitoring (house arrest).
Requirements for applying and completing the Berks County STOP program and DUI Treatment Court are very strict so it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable Berks County DUI attorney as soon as possible. If you think that you may be eligible for a DUI diversionary program, call our office at 610-372-5128 or email us at [email protected]