Pennsylvania has some of the strictest DUI penalties in the country, but it also has some of the most widespread and effective rehabilitation and alternative punishment programs.
A charge for driving under the influence (DUI) can impact your ability to get to school or work. Fortunately, Section 9763 of Pennsylvania’s Judicial Code permits attendance in an intermediate punishment program, including for most DUI charges as part of probation.
You have a better chance of having your sentence reduced from jail time to house arrest with the help of a skilled Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer.
Options for DUI punishment in Pennsylvania
There are two main options for an intermediate punishment program or sentence:
- House arrest with electronic monitoring (in your own home)
- Alternative housing (a halfway house or sober living accommodations)
Choosing one of these two options may allow you to continue working so your job isn’t in jeopardy or to continue attending classes if you’re in school.
How to qualify for DUI house arrest in Pennsylvania
To qualify for DUI house arrest in Pennsylvania, you generally need to meet the following criteria:
- You’re a low-risk, nonviolent offender
- A judge hasn’t prohibited you from house arrest
- You have a compatible phone in your residence
- You agree to the terms and conditions of home confinement
- Based on your ability to pay, you’re able to afford home confinement fees
- Your permanent or temporary residence is in or near the county where you were sentenced
- You’re gainfully employed or are searching for employment
Your Pennsylvania DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to accept a sentence of house arrest as part of a plea bargain. You may be required to submit proof that you meet the qualifications above, such as a letter from your employer or pay stub, a letter from your trade school or college, a log of your community service hours and schedule, or another way to prove that you’re actively seeking employment.
Requirements for alternative DUI sentencing in Pennsylvania
The state issues mandatory compliance requirements to maintain your DUI house arrest sentencing. If you fail to comply with these stipulations, then you may end up in jail until your trial or until the end of your sentence:
- Wear an electronic monitoring device
- Meet in person with a probation officer or house arrest supervisor
- Submit to drug or alcohol testing on-demand (random testing)
- Attend drug and alcohol treatment sessions or a substance abuse program
The electronic monitoring device is an ankle bracelet containing a GPS tracker. Your location is electronically monitored and communicated to your probation officer. Before you get the bracelet, it’s programmed to monitor the specific locations where you’re allowed to go. If you’re found to be outside these zones and your probation officer is alerted, you could have your house arrest revoked.
Generally, the permitted geographical locations are your home, school, or workplace, the facility you receive substance abuse treatment (if this was part of your sentence), and your place of worship. The routes between these locations will also be included. If you have other approved places to go, such as regular doctors or therapist’s appointments, then your probation officer can include those, too.
Do you need help after a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney can help negotiate a lesser penalty, like house arrest or serving your sentence in a halfway house. Contact Kellis Law Firm today at (215) 977-4183 for a free consultation.