Filed under: Criminal Law, News Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ March 19, 2011

In a recent Pennsylvania DUI case, Commonwealth v. Main, the Trial Court refused to apply RRRI to a one year mandatory minimum sentence, reasoning that a mandatory minimum cannot be circumvented. The Superior Court reversed the Trial Court, noting that the legislature did set certain types of offenses outside the ambit of RRRI, so it knew how to do that if it had intended to. Thus, a mandatory minimum sentence of one year can be reduced to less than one year by the RRRI program. Offenders who get a sentence of RRRI serve only 3/4 of their minimum sentences (for sentences less than three years) and then can be presumptively paroled. This means that instead of having to wait to have a meeting with the parole board and then await a decision, a process that can drag on for many months, the person is released as soon as he or she reaches the date for the earliest release. This is an incredible program, but in our experience most lawyers are not asking Judges to utilize it. As a result, their clients are sentenced to and serve much more jail time than is otherwise necessary. This program should be invoked in any case where someone charged with DUI is serving his sentence in a state prison. It cannot be utilized in the county prisons. Contact a Montgomery County PA DUI Lawyer if you have been charged with a DUI.

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