Legal Updates

What is County Intermediate Punishment? (County “IP”)

County Intermediate Punishment (“County IP”) is considered a Pre-Trial Diversionary Program.  The Office of the District Attorney of Philadelphia screens Defendants as candidates.  Defendants may also apply for the program through their private lawyer.  Eligible defendants are generally; 1.) non-violent drug offenders; 2.) who have committed non-violent crimes; 3.) and have a drug dependency.  Some of these criteria are malleable.  Therefore, if you think you may be eligible for County IP you should discuss the option with a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer.

If a defendant agrees to County IP, he or she is pleading guilty.  In exchange for the plea, the DA makes a non-prison disposition offer that involves either; 1.) intensive outpatient drug treatment; 2.) short-term inpatient treatment; or 3.) long-term inpatient treatment.  Thus, a defendant who accepts IP is potentially accepting a curtailment on their liberty through mandated rehab.

A defendant who pleads to County IP is under strict supervision.  Those who are not sentenced to substantial inpatient treatment are placed on House Arrest for a designated time period (usually between 3-6 months).  The defendant is also usually sentenced to 40 hours community service, and two years reporting probation.  If the defendant reoffends while on probation, they face likely incarceration for their violation.

County IP is not a program like Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), or Accelerated Misdemeanor Program 1 (AMP 1), because the defendant is pleading guilty.  Thus, a young defendant who accepts County IP incurs the stain of a criminal record.  This may haunt them for years as they seek employment opportunities in their adulthood.  County IP is offered in exchange for a guilty plea.  It cannot be expunged.

County IP may be appropriate where the defendant needs drug rehabilitation.  The offer provides rehabilitation and keeps defendant out of jail.  But it’s important to recognize this program is not a golden ticket.  Unlike AMP and ARD, defendant is facing incursions on their mobility through inpatient treatment or House Arrest.  They also must accept the consequences of a criminal record.

If you are facing criminal charges for Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, or other non-violent drug related charges, speak with a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney about the possibility of AMP, ARD, and County IP. None of these programs are guaranteed.  They may all be possible.  To speak with a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer, call us at (267) 535-9776.