PDAA Files Amicus Brief Seeking to Address Recidivism and Drunk Driving

April 7, 2022

HARRISBURG – On March 15, 2022, the PDAA filed an amicus brief in Commonwealth v. Verbeck, 1 MAP 2022.

In Verbeck, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is poised to address the Superior Court’s holding in Commonwealth v. Chichkin, 232 A.3d 959 (Pa.Super. 2020). The Superior Court panel held in Chichkin that the Legislature could not equate acceptance of ARD with a prior conviction for sentencing purposes.

The PDAA argued that Chichkin’s holding was wrong. The General Assembly has created a statutory scheme to address recidivism and drunk driving, as well as to protect first time offenders from significant consequences resulting from their behavior.

Pursuant to that statutory scheme, a defendant can waive his right to have the Commonwealth prove his guilt of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt in exchange for a significantly beneficial agreement, i.e. ARD. The brief sets forth the PDAA’s arguments in support of this position.

Click here to read the PDAA amicus brief.