The Recovery Court program in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is a Drug and Alcohol Treatment-Based Intermediate Punishment sentencing alternative for persons deemed to be Level 3 and Level 4 drug- or alcohol-dependent offenders.
Drug crime offenders — and persons who are accused of a third DUI (driving under the influence) with two prior convictions — may be eligible for Recovery Court in Chester County, PA, under recently revised local laws.
Chester County’s Recovery Court program provides intensive treatment for drug and alcohol addiction for those in need of long-term and structured treatment and supervision.
Recovery Court’s alternative penalties include less incarceration time, followed by residential treatment and residential halfway house treatment, electronic home monitoring, SCRAM (Secured Continuous Random Alcohol Monitoring), intensive outpatient treatment, and intensive probation and judicial supervision based on the existing model already used by the Drug Court in Chester County, PA.
Restrictive Intermediate sentences are provided by West Chester County as IP (Intermediate Punishment) directed toward offenders who are often repeat offenders, who may be dependent on drugs or alcohol, and who fall within levels 3 or 4 of Pennsylvania’s Sentencing Guidelines.
An application for recovery court must be made within 30 days of arraignment. Priority will be given to Level 3 and Level 4 offenders charged with drug offenses or retail theft. If you were arrested for a Level 3 or Level 4 offense and want drug or alcohol treatment, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Skinner Law Firm to discuss the pros and cons of entering Recovery Court.
Skinner Law Firm handles all types of drug and alcohol cases. Our lead defense attorney, Michael J. Skinner, is a former Assistant District Attorney for Chester County, so he is familiar with successful arguments in these types of cases from multiple perspectives. His experience provides him with a unique insight into the justice system, and he can give you a realistic sense of what options you have when you call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free consultation.
Call (610) 436-1410 today to discuss your case.
You may be eligible for a measure of mercy from Pennsylvania’s legal system, even if you are a repeat drug or alcohol offender. Recovery court is offered to offenders who fall within Level 3 and Level 4 sentencing guidelines, including certain drug crimes and offenders with a third DUI charge.
According to the laws in effect in 2016, a person is eligible for an intermediate punishment by going to Recovery Court in Chester County, PA, if he or she does not have a conviction within the past 10 years for any of the following offenses:
Most other criminal offenses in Chester County, by law, should not preclude a person who opts to undergo recovery treatment for drug or alcohol offenses in lieu of formal criminal prosecution, from entering Recovery Court.
However, you should consult with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to assure that Recovery Court is a viable and proper option in your particular case before you agree to the rigid, uncompromising rules imposed by the Recovery Court program.
After a person applies for recovery court, the Recovery Court Probation Officer identifies offenders as a candidate for recovery court. The offender or his or her criminal defense attorney can also provide information about drug or alcohol dependency.
The person must submit to a diagnostic assessment of drug and alcohol dependency, which is conducted by the County Department of Drug and Alcohol or their contracted provider. The assessment and recommendation are submitted by the probation officer to the District Attorney’s office. The application for Recovery Court must be submitted within 30 days of the initial arraignment.
If the person is approved for the program, then the District Attorney’s Office will offer a plea bargain, consistent with the treatment recommendation in the clinical evaluation, and based on the revised Recovery Court guidelines and RIP Table.
All Recovery Court participants are required to complete 90 days of SCRAM (the state’s “Secured Continuous Random Alcohol Monitor” system). Fees for this monitoring are supposed to be assessed on a sliding scale.
The Recovery Court program in Chester County, PA, consists of four distinct phases and includes a long list of conditions that must be satisfied, or an offender will be deferred back to the regular criminal justice system, which will likely impose harsher penalties and punishments that will almost certainly have longer-lasting consequences than the Recovery Court program.
There are four main “phases” of the Chester County Recovery Court Program. The full details are accessible at the link provided below in our Additional Resources section. A summary of the program follows.
Phase One: Involves successful completion of residential treatment (if recommended) with monthly visits by a Recovery Court Officer. Successful completion of an approved aftercare plan developed before discharge from residential treatment is required (including a possible stay in a half-way house.
Persons not recommended for residential treatment will be required to fully participate in recommended treatment that may include outpatient, intensive outpatient and/or partial hospitalization treatment.
Successful completion of all required programs will be required throughout the entire program which may include obtaining a high school equivalency diploma (GED), anger management counseling, domestic violence counseling, family counseling, or parenting classes, and mental health assessment and treatment.
Electronic Home Monitoring, drug sweat patches, and electronic sleep monitoring devices may be ordered as a component of Phase 1 or at any other time during the program.
Participants who are in compliance may be rewarded with small incentives, while non-compliance may result in negative consequences, including reprimands, curfews, modifications to stricter treatment plans, additional court appearances, mandatory community service, electronic home monitoring, incarceration, issuance of bench warrants and termination from the program.
If a person is terminated from the Recovery Court program, the person will go back to the original court to potentially face the initial criminal penalties if convicted.
Phase 2: Consists of continuing requirements once Phase 1 is complete, including:
Clients are expected to complete 6 successful months and demonstrate 90 days of sobriety before graduation to Phase 3.
Phase 3: Consists of continuing requirements once Phase 2 is complete, including:
Participants are expected to complete six successful months and demonstrate 90 days of sobriety before moving to Phase 4.
Phase 4: Consists of continuing requirements once Phase 3 is complete, including:
Clients are expected to complete six successful months in Phase 4 and demonstrate a minimum of 180 days of sobriety for graduation from Recovery Court. Upon graduation, a participant will be moved to a General supervision caseload for the remainder of the sentence.
Recovery Court in Chester County — Request for Assessment — Chester County published a two-page pamphlet that details how to request a Recovery Court assessment, as well as information about eligibility and ineligibility for recovery court, and a general description of the program’s procedures.
Chester County Recovery Court — The official Chester County site for Recovery Court provides multiple links to detailed information about what the program entails, including details about all four phases of the program, as well as exclusive information for DUI offenders in the program.
If you are facing drug charges or a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) in Chester County, Pennsylvania, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you. Skinner Law Firm provides aggressive legal defense for clients throughout Chester County, PA, as well as Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County, PA. We can help you decide if Recovery Court is a viable option for you. Recovery court may be a better option for you than the traditional criminal court system.
We offer a free review of your case when you contact the Skinner Law Firm. So call (610) 436-1410 today to schedule an initial consultation with no obligation and no charge. Michael J. Skinner can develop a formidable defense and work to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 20, 2016.