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Two Options For Avoiding Jail In Your DUI Case

When you're convicted of a DUI, there's a good chance you'll be sentenced to jail time, depending on the circumstances of your case. As you can imagine, this can make it hard for you to maintain important aspects of your life, such as your job. However, even though you may be looking at jail time, here are two ways you can avoid it.

Ask for Community Service

One way to avoid jail time is to convince the judge that community service may be more appropriate for your case. This type of punishment involves doing work in the community for free for a period of time (e.g. 20 hours of service). The type of work you'll be required to do will vary, but it will typically be related to your DUI. For instance, you may be ordered to enter a rehab program where you'll sponsor other substance abusers and organize or lead meetings.

It is up to the judge's discretion whether to order community service or not. However, the less severe your crime, the more likely the judge may agree to this option. For instance, the judge may allow community service if you're a first-time offender and you didn't cause any injuries or property damage. On the other hand, the judge may reject your request if you have been convicted of DUI multiple times or caused an accident.

Additionally, community service is usually combined with other forms of punishment, such as probation and fines. Failure to complete all the requirements of your sentence could result in you being put in jail.

Request House Arrest

Sometimes jail time is unavoidable. That doesn't mean you actually have to go to prison. If it seems as though the judge will incarcerate you, you can request to serve your sentence while under house arrest. In this scenario, you would be confined to your place of residence and electronically monitored.

The primary benefit of this option is you can get approved to leave your home for things like your job, school, and other important obligations. However, you won't qualify for time off for good behavior—you'll have to serve the entire sentence—and you must pay all fees associated with this type of incarceration.

House arrest is generally only available to people who are first-time offenders (or have very thin criminal profiles), convicted of non-violent offenses, and have steady employment. There may be other requirements, so it's best to research the laws in your area to determine if you qualify.

For more information about these and other alternative DUI punishments, contact an attorney, such as from Daniels Long & Pinsel.