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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23404
Experience:  9+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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In pennsylvania, can i still get into a second time offenders

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In pennsylvania, can i still get into a second time offenders program after going to trial? I currently have a lawyer who has been lying to me. He told me that if i do not participate in the STOP program and decide to take my case to trial that I will lose out on the second time offenders dui program. Is this true? Back in may when i asked for the discovery my full intentions were to get all evidence including photos and videos seized from the accident. My lawyer got the discovery but there were not photographs, videos and etc. just the police report, the incident report and so on. Thank you!
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Yes, what the attorney told you is true. The reason why it is true is that the Second Time Offenders Program (STOP) is a PRE-SENTENCE drug and alcohol treatment program, not a post-trial sentence which can be imposed. The purpose of a defendant entering into it is to avoid the trial process altogether and to expedite the resolution of the case. Moreover, to be eligible for it, a second offense for Driving Under the Influence is defined as a second arrest for Driving Under the Influence within 10 years or less between the date of sentence (including Juvenile adjudications and ARD dispositions) on the prior DUI offense and the date of offense on the current DUI arrest. If you go to trial and lose, you will have two convictions/adjudications on your record at that time. Programs like this need to be elected prior to trial. Every defendant has a legal right to make the State prove the charge against them beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if they lose at trial, they can not elect the program, which was first available to them.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. I honestly feel like my lawyer is working with my probation officer for their convenience. I was told by the probation office to get a drug and alcohol evaluation. I got my evaluation and the lady requested that I stay in halfway house instead of house arrest. The lady that evaluated me never even examined my living conditions, never came to my house, met my parents or examined my "behind- a-high school" development. Is this something my lawyer should be arguing for me?

You are welcome. It appears that probation is trying to press the issue of rehabilitation and treatment, if they think you have an issue with alcohol. Your attorney should be acting in your best interest for a resolution to the case, which avoids jail and/or minimizes any sentence imposed. Moreover, they should look over ALL the evidence to determine if you have any legal defenses to raise or if it is best to take a plea or enter into the program.
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