Community Accountability Program (CAP) – Bucks County
The Community Accountability Program, also known as CAP, is a pre-trial diversion program in Bucks County. It is the first of its kind to be rolled out in the Bucks County area. The CAP program is an alternative to the more rigorous Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program normally used for first-time offenders.
The CAP program in Bucks County consists of meeting with a panel of trained community members to discuss a participant’s life, their charge, and their future. The panel will ask a series of questions and then decide the terms of program for a particular individual. The terms of the program can include writing a letter of apology, community service, restitution, etc. A participant’s answers and their court documents are kept sealed and confidential through this process.
The CAP program offers several advantages over ARD or other diversionary courts. First, it is less expensive. ARD programs can range from $600 to over $2000 in fines, probation fees, and court costs. The CAP program is offered for a fraction of the cost.
Second, the CAP program offers less probation time. The probation tail on any diversion sentence is important because once the probation has been completed, the participant is typically released from court supervision and can move on with their life free from the court system’s oversight.
Finally, like the ARD program, the CAP program in Bucks County offers the ability to have the charge expunged from a participant’s record. The sooner the probationary tail ends, the sooner a CAP program participant can have the charge wiped from their record. Once expunged, anyone running a background check (employer, school, etc.) will not be able to see that the participant was ever charged.
If you or someone you know was charged with a crime in Bucks County or the surrounding area, contact Bucks County Criminal Defense Attorney Michael F. Niznik for a free consultation.