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DUI Court Process – Chester County, Pennsylvania

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Information on the DUI Legal Process in Chesco, PA

If you were charged with DUI in West Chester, PA, Exton, PA, or Chesco, PA (Chester Co.) there are many things you should know about the DUI legal process that will follow, including possible penalties and how best to prepare yourself for getting the best possible outcome.

Whether you face a first DUI charge or a second DUI arrest has an impact on court proceedings and the types of penalties you face. For instance, you may qualify for the Chester County ARD Program (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) if this is a first DUI offense. If you are a U.S. Veteran, you may also be eligible for the Veterans Treatment Court in Chesco.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be eligible for the ARD Program, or you may choose to fight the charges and try to get them dismissed, or you could receive a significant reduction in charges.

Our DUI Lawyers in Chesco PA are experienced and aggressive and will fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family. We understand that the stakes of a DUI are high: your license, your job, and your freedom are all at risk and we pull all the stops to help you keep your basic rights and stay out of jail.

Facing a DUI charge in Chester County, Pennsylvania, can be a daunting experience, but understanding the court process can help alleviate some of the uncertainty.

At Saadzoi Law, we are committed to guiding our clients through each stage of the legal proceedings with clarity, expertise, and advocacy. Below, we outline the typical court process individuals may encounter after being charged with a DUI in Chester County, along with relevant references and resources for further information.

We can help you know what to expect next, including information on the CRN Evaluation, arraignments, court hearings, going to trial, and appeals.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction
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Call Chester Co DUI Attorney Wana Saadzoi

Delco | Chesco | Montco

An Arrest is Not a Conviction

Every DUI case is different with an array of options to be considered when defending your rights. Oftentimes, people will think it is not a big deal, but the fact is that a DUI on your permanent record is something that could require jail time, a license suspension, and show up as an arrest on your criminal record, which can affect you for the rest of your life.

Any type of legal trouble that could harm you financially for years to come is worth fighting, or at the very least, speaking with an attorney.

An experienced and aggressive Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer can help you fight for your rights, license, and freedom. Even if a full dismissal of your DUI charges is not possible, an attorney can help fight for the minimum sentencing possible and a reduction in charges.

The very first thing you should do after being charged with DUI in PA is to contact a DUI attorney for a free consultation about your case. The sooner you contact an attorney, the more time they will have to prepare your case and build a strong defense.

Call Saadzoi Law today for a free consultation of your DUI case: 610-566-5956

What Happens After I Get a DUI in Chester County, PA?

Overview of the steps of the legal process of a DUI in Chesco:

  1. CRN Evaluation (Fees and Paperwork)
  2. Preliminary Arraignment
  3. Preliminary Hearing
  4. Formal Arraignment and ARD Program
  5. Discovery / Gathering Evidence
  6. Pre-Trial Conference
  7. Trial
  8. Appeal

1) The CRN Evaluation

After being charged with DUI in Chester County, individuals may undergo a Court Reporting Network (CRN) evaluation. This evaluation assesses the individual’s alcohol and drug use and helps determine the appropriate level of intervention or treatment. It’s essential to complete the evaluation promptly and provide any required paperwork to avoid potential delays or complications in the legal process.

In Chester County, the process of the CRN Evaluation is overseen by the Chester County Adult Probation, Parole Department’s DUI Program.

DUI offenders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are all required to schedule an appointment and go to the Chester County Assessment Office at 313 W. Market Street to fill out the Court Reporting Network paperwork (CRN). The fee is $75.

The preferred scheduling method is by phone at 610-344-6800, or by email at

A CRN evaluation takes 30-45 minutes and you will need to bring the following:

You will be given a copy of your CRN evaluation results. If you are recommended for further evaluation, a list of providers will be included or you may contact your insurance provider.

In the evaluation interview, you will be asked about your drinking and drug habits so the court can know what types of drug and/or alcohol treatment you may need.

To schedule the CRN evaluation on office cases call 610-344-6800. For more details and information about scheduling the CRN, visit the website of the Chester County PA Government Diagnostic Services.

2) The Preliminary Arraignment

Most DUI offenses in Chester County result in a custody release without preliminary arraignment, but the court must conduct an arraignment if you are still in custody from 48 to 72 hours after your arrest. Once released, you will either receive paperwork listing your charges or they will be mailed within five days of your release. This summons will tell you when to appear at the preliminary hearing.

It is very important to appear at the hearing on the date and time indicated on the summons. If you fail to appear, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

3) The Preliminary Hearing:

At this hearing, the prosecution must establish probable cause that a crime was committed and that the defendant was involved. It’s an opportunity for the defense to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution and to potentially negotiate a plea agreement or dismissal of charges.

The preliminary hearing will normally occur within one to two months of your arrest. This is the most important part of the court process and an attorney is useful to have at your hearing.

This hearing is very important. Your attorney can make attempts at a plea bargain at your preliminary hearing to get part or all of your charges dismissed or dropped. It is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorney to guide you through the DUI Court Process and help you make decisions.

Next, your DUI case will be scheduled for a formal arraignment in the Court of Common Pleas.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction
Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Pennsylvania DUI Attorney Wana Saadzoi

4) The Formal Arraignment and the ARD Program:

After the preliminary hearing, the case proceeds to formal arraignment, where the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.

For first-time DUI offenders in Chester County, participation in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program may be an option. The ARD program allows eligible individuals to complete a rehabilitative program in exchange for having their charges dismissed upon successful completion.

The formal arraignment typically takes place six to eight weeks after the Preliminary Hearing.  You are assigned a judge at your arraignment. It is here that you and your attorney will be able to view the footage of your arrest and review the police reports.

It is highly recommended that most first-time DUI offenders apply for this program. However, not all who apply will be accepted. To apply for the ARD program in Chester County, call a qualified DUI Attorney.

See more details on the ARD program in Chester County.

5) Discovery / Gathering Evidence

During the discovery phase, both the prosecution and defense exchange evidence relevant to the case. This may include police reports, witness statements, and results of chemical tests. It’s essential for the defense to thoroughly review and analyze the evidence to build a strong defense strategy.

A skilled DUI attorney will pay attention with great detail to the police reports and other evidence collected at the time of your arrest, which can include video footage of the arrest and any testing performed to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content level).  And evidence against you must be disclosed to you and/or your attorney.

Evidence can be used to assist in your case – for instance, if the police did not follow proper procedures during your arrest, your case could be dismissed.

6) The Pre-Trial Conference

A pre-trial conference is a meeting between the prosecution, defense counsel, and the judge to discuss the status of the case, explore potential plea agreements, and address any procedural matters. It provides an opportunity to negotiate a resolution or offer a plea bargain before proceeding to trial.

A skilled DUI attorney will examine all evidence and decide whether the evidence surrounding your case could be challenged.

7) Trial

If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiation or plea bargaining, the case proceeds to trial. During the trial, both the prosecution and defense present evidence, call witnesses and make arguments before a judge or jury. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, who must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

After the verdict, you will be sentenced by the judge.

8) Appeal

If you and your attorney feel that an appeal is a worthwhile option, you can file a notice of appeal. However, the Appellate Court only considers claim errors of the law or trial proceedings when appealing a DUI case. Appeals must be filed within specified timeframes and adhere to procedural requirements.

Do Not Fight DUI Charges Alone
Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Chester County DUI Attorney Saadzoi

Delco, PA | Chesco, PA | Montco, PA


Attorney Saadzoi is here to try to help make your terrible situation a better one  – call her today for a free legal consultation regarding your DUI charges in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

At Saadzoi Law, we understand the complexities and challenges individuals face when charged with a DUI in Chester County. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to providing comprehensive representation and guidance throughout the court process.

If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case.

Attorney Saadzoi will do everything possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Battling DUI charges on your own could increase the likelihood that you will face DUI penalties to the fullest potential of the law.

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