Many people are sentenced to jail – however, a great number of these people never step one foot into a jail cell. There are laws that allow for defendants to complete their jail time in alternative programs. Criminal defense attorneys, by necessity, have to become experts in finding alternatives to incarceration. Many clients are business people and / or have families and other serious commitments, and cannot afford to be taken into custody. Our office works hard to explore and use every possible alternative for them, thus often avoiding actual jail time. The following are a list of alternatives to being incarcerated or taken into custody.
Home Electronic Confinement – Home electronic confinement can be arranged by either the probation department or a private company. This type of sentencing requires a person to remain at home, but at the same time, allows you to continue the activities which are necessary to your well-being and existence (such as attending work, school, Dr. appointments, attorney, court or DMV appearances, shop for necessities, care for your children and / or provide necessary care for a loved one who may be ill or otherwise unable to care for themselves). There is usually a nominal cost that is associated with the program.
Community Service Work – Each court has a separate office responsible for assigning community service work to individuals who are approved by the prosecutor and judge to perform duties to assist various organizations within the community (in lieu of jail time). 8 hours of community service basically converts to 1 hour of jail time. This is an excellent alternative, as some defendant’s believe that their community service work is much more needed and worthwhile to the community, rather than simply sitting behind bars in jail. Private Jail / Work Furlough – In some instances, where the judge requires that you serve actual jail time, many people choose to serve their sentence in a private jail facility. This alternative can be somewhat costly, however, in a private jail, there are many instances where you can get work furlough privileges. Work furlough privileges means that during the day you are allowed to go out and work at your regular job and after work, you are required to spend the remainder of the evening back in the private jail. While you do remain incarcerated, this option does allow you to still keep your job.
Sober Living Programs – Some clients that are convicted and sentenced to jail time as a result of a drug or alcohol related charge want to be productive in the time that they spend while incarcerated. County jail does not afford very many programs that assist individuals in becoming sober or help with a drug related problem. As an alternative, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs can be another option.
These programs are allowed by law to credit, day for day for time spent in the program. The individual in this program is required to spend their evenings and stay in the program, which does include regular drug and alcohol testing as well as other types of monitoring to ensure you are in fact complying with the program requirements. However, in some programs, you are allowed to go out and work during the day at your regular job as a part of your rehabilitation, providing of course, that you remain in and comply with the program’s requirement
Let us help you get what sentence you or your loved one deserves.
We are a team of recovering individuals which consist of clinicians, recovery coaches, Paralegals, and we have a (on-call) consulting Psychiatrist and Criminal Attorney should they be needed for consult.
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On call staff: 910.665.9812