Chester County DUI IPP Program
How To Reduce Jail Time After a DUI
Even though DUI charges come with mandatory minimum sentences, a judge is empowered and enabled to modify the terms of the sentence and where the sentence is served under the Intermediate Punishment Program. Specifically, the Judge has the authority under the IPP, to allow an individual facing a mandatory period of incarceration to serve some period of that “confinement” at home with a home monitoring device rather than at a county jail.
The Chester County Intermediate Punishment Program is a sentencing alternative which begins when an eligible person files an IPP application with the Probation and Parole Dept. within thirty days of sentencing. Any person with a conviction in Chester County who has no past or present pattern of violent behavior and who, otherwise, would receive a jail sentence, is eligible for IPP. The focus of the program is on those who are considered non-violent, and are Level three or four offenders. Any person who does have a past history of violence as well as a person with a parole or probation violation is not eligible for the IPP program.
If serious injury to another person was involved in the current offense, or if a minor was present in the automobile at the time the offense was committed, no eligibility of IPP exists. There is an exception to the prohibition to the IPP program for a person who committed their current offense during a time they were on supervised parole. The exception states if the person who violated his or her parole has a substantial history of substance abuse, requiring treatment under the County Prison’s Prison Recovery Program—and otherwise qualifies for IPP—then he or she may be eligible.
Portions of IPP Changed in Chester County in 2014
Even a person who qualifies for IPP is not automatically qualified to participate, as the Court can exercise its discretion in the matter. In 2014, Chester County changed portions of the IPP, with one of the most significant changes being those who were charged with a 3rd DUI within ten years with a BAC of .16 or higher, or those who refused testing, were no longer eligible for IPP.
If a person is granted IPP, he or she will be permitted to leave their residence only for work, court-ordered conditions and doctor’s appointments. Weekly reporting is required, and the cost of monitoring is $10 per day, which must be paid each week. A working telephone line must be installed prior to sentencing. Community service should be arranged and approved by Adult Probation prior to sentencing. The Chester County IPP does not explicitly guarantee work release, and does require a specific period of incarceration, home monitoring, intensive probation supervision, and, when necessary, drug or alcohol treatment.
IPP in Other Pennsylvania Counties
In Delaware County, the IPP has five phases, lasting 30 months and offers participants treatment, housing, vocational training and relapse prevention rather than jail time. When a person completes the program, a dismissal of all charges and expungement will occur. If the program is not completed, sentencing will occur. In order to be eligible for the Delaware County IPP a person must have pending new criminal charges or a Delco violation of probation or parole, must require addiction treatment, must be motivated for recovery and must be willing to undergo court supervision.
The IPP in Lancaster County allows a straight jail sentence to be exchanged for a combination of house arrest with electronic monitoring, work release and intensive supervision by probation officers. Bucks and Montgomery Counties, while not offering a program like the Chester County IPP, do offer a work release program which is designed to assist offenders in reintegration into their community and into the employment market. A defendant who agrees to Philadelphia County IPP is pleading guilty; in exchange for a guilty plea the disposition may offer intensive outpatient drug treatment, long-term inpatient drug treatment, or short-term inpatient treatment. House Arrests is required, usually for a period of 3-6 months, and the person may be sentenced to 40 hours of community service as well as two years reporting probation.
It is important to realize that eligibility for IPP in any county does not guarantee entitlement to the program. If you feel you may be eligible for IPP, you must discuss this with your Pennsylvania attorney. Your attorney has a thorough understanding of the program and can determine your eligibility as well as completing the necessary papers and ensuring they are received within the allowed time period.