HARRISBURG, Pa- Steven E. Jackson, Jr. pleaded guilty Monday at the Dauphin County Courthouse after police arrest him for driving with a high rate of alcohol and under a suspended license.
Standing before Judge Debra E. Curcillo with his hands clasped together behind his back and his head down, the forty-seven year old Highspire resident received his sentence of two counts for driving while under the influence of alcohol on April 14th, 2013. His alcohol level was .16, considered extremely high by Pennsylvania state standards.
In front of his mother who was watching in the courtroom, Jackson begged the court for leniency. “Mr. Jackson is currently working and is the father of four young children. We ask for a reduced sentence where the defendant will be able to retain his current job,” said Natalie Burston, public defender assigned to the Jackson case.
He had previously been arrested for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. When the police pulled Jackson over for the current arrest his license was already suspended for the previous incident, thereby causing an additional charge of driving under suspension.
“What is your current job?” asked Curicillo. “He is currently working full-time as a janitor and has kept that position for well over a year, your honor,” said Burston. The judge then asked Jackson if she gave him leniency what would stop him from committing the same crime again. “No offense your honor, but I don’t want to be in this courtroom again or ever see you again, “said Jackson. “No offense taken, I don’t want to see you again in my courtroom either,” said Curculio.
Deputy District Attorney Kristie Falco inquired about a possible rehab program for the defendant to ensure control of his substance abuse issue. The judge agreed that it should become part of the sentence, inquiring as to the last time Jackson had his CRIN evaluation. “There is not a current evaluation on file,” said Falco. The judge then required a new evaluation as part of his sentencing agreement.
A CRIN or court reporting network evaluation is required for all DUI offenders in the State of Pennsylvania. It is a pre-screening tool used to determine if a defendant will be referred for a more comprehensive drug and alcohol assessment.
Expressing additional concern for his neglect of the law, Falco then suggested perhaps the defendant relinquish his license before the court. The defendant then handed over his license to the judge, with the judge suggesting to the public defender that she fully explain what surrendering his license meant and the fact that it goes into effect immediately. With her hand on his back, Burton told the judge she discussed the situation with her client prior to the sentencing, and that Jackson would ride the bus home.