The DUI Legal Process in Montgomery County, PA
If you were charged with DUI in Montco PA, below is information about what to expect next in the process, including information on the CRN Evaluation, arraignments, court hearings, the ARD Program and going to trial.
Whether you were charged with a first DUI in Montgomery County PA, or this is a second or subsequent offense, you will have different options in the process.
For instance, you may qualify for the Montgomery County PA ARD Program (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) if this is a first offense.
The penalties for a DUI in Montco PA are strict, as in the rest of Pennsylvania, but the process varies from county to county.
There are options to fighting a DUI charge in PA and DUI cases can be won in court. An experienced and aggressive DUI Lawyer in Montgomery County can help you fight for your rights, your license and your freedom.
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Overview of the DUI Process in Pennsylvania
- CRN Evaluation (Fees and Paperwork)
- Preliminary arraignment
- Preliminary Hearing
- Formal Arraignment and ARD Program
- Discovery / Gathering Evidence
- Pre-Trial Conference
The CRN Evaluation:
The Montgomery County PA CRN (Court Reporting Network) Evaluation is a 45-minute to one hour interview that every person charged with a DUI must schedule and complete. The cost is $80.
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.
You will be charged an additional fee of $30 if you do not show up at the scheduled time. If you were charged with a DUI in Montgomery County, you must schedule the evaluation in Montgomery County.
From the Montco PA website:
You will receive a letter from the DUI Administration approximately 2-3 weeks after your preliminary hearing. The letter will ask you to call our office within 3 days of receiving the letter. DO THIS IMMEDIATELY. We can not schedule an appointment unless you receive our letter.
There are two places where you can complete the CRN evaluation and attend the Alcohol Highway Safety School:
Montco DUI Administration
408 Cherry Street
Norristown, PA 19401
610-992-7700 * Main Office
Montgomery County Court House Annex
102 York Road, Suite 201
Willow Grove, PA 19090
215-784-5408 * Satellite Office
For more information, please see the FAQ section of the Montgomery County PA DUI Administration website.
The Preliminary Arraignment:
Most DUI offenses in Montco PA result in a custody release without preliminary arraignment. Typically, a summons and complaint will be issued within five days of your release. The summons will tell you when to appear at the preliminary hearing.
If you do have a preliminary arraignment, it is here that the charges against you will be read. This is your first court appearance and it is here that you will enter a guilty or not-guilty plea.
The Preliminary Hearing:
Your first hearing will normally occur within three to ten days of your arrest. It is here that prosecutors must prove that a DUI crime was committed and that the person being charged with the crime is the person who committed it.
The preliminary hearing for DUI cases is heard in the Montgomery County, PA Magisterial District Court.
This hearing is very important. Your attorney can make attempts 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 an arraignment in the Court of Common Pleas.
The Formal Arraignment and the ARD Program:
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.
You may also be able to apply for a diversionary DUI program, like the ARD Program in Montgomery County. Certain qualifications are needed to apply for the ARD program, a first-offenders program for mainly drugs and alcohol. This program can severely limit the penalties of a DUI conviction and help keep the charges off your permanent record.
It is highly recommended that most first-time DUI offenders apply for this program. However, not all that apply will be accepted into the program. A Pennsylvania DUI attorney can help with this process.
Discovery / Gathering Evidence
A skilled DUI attorney will pay attention with great detail to the police reports and other evidence collected at the time of your arrest.
Any discoverable matter 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.
This evidence can be used against the prosecution, for instance if police did not follow proper procedures during your arrest, the entire case could be thrown out and your charges dropped.
The Pre-trial Conference
At the Pre-trial, your attorney will be able to obtain any lab reports pertaining to your DUI arrest and also negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor.
A skilled DUI attorney will examine all evidence and make a determination whether the evidence surrounding your case could be challenged. Procedures in a Pre-trial Conference vary from county to county.
If your DUI case is not resolved by either acceptance into the ARD program or by a plea deal, your case will go to trial.
You will be ruled either guilty or not-guilty at your trial. After the verdict, you will be sentenced by the judge.
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.
FREE LEGAL CASE EVALUATION FROM ATTORNEY SAADZOI
Attorney Saadzoi is here to help – call her today for a free legal consultation regarding your DUI charges in Montco, PA.
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.
Learn more about DUI charges in Montgomery County, PA:
- First DUI in Montco, PA
- Montco ARD Program
- Penalties for DUI in Montco
- DUI Lawyer in Montgomery County PA
Don’t Fight Your DUI Charges Alone
Call Today for a Free Legal Case Evaluation
Contact PA DUI Attorney Wana Saadzoi
Saadzoi Law – Montgomery County, PA
325 Sentry Pkwy, Suite 200
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Other Resources for DUI Penalties and DUI Charges in Montco PA:
- Pennsylvania DUI Sentencing Guide
- Montco ARD Program
- Montco DUI Information
- CRN Evaluation in Montco PA
- Alcohol Highway Safety School
- PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation)
- PennDOT – Ignition Interlock “THE LAW” FAQs
- Pennsylvania DUI Association
- Ignition Interlock Vendors
Learn More About Saadzoi Law:
- Attorney Wana Saadzoi
- Criminal Lawyers in PA
- Drug Lawyers in PA
- Pennsylvania Immigration Lawyer
- Our Client Reviews and Testimonials
Get Information on DUI Laws in Pennsylvania:
- PA DUI Lawyer
- PA ARD Program
- Penalties for DUI in Pennsylvania
- Chester County DUI Lawyer
- Delaware County DUI Lawyer
- Montgomery County DUI Lawyer