Alternatives to Custody
Even in the case of a conviction, it is possible for a knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorney to obtain alternatives to jail for their clients. Alternatives to jail include Electronic Monitoring, Work Release or Work Furlough, Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation, or Sober Living, Sheriff’s Work Alternative, and other potential solutions. Each of these options should be fully explored, and the solution be tailored to your individual circumstances as much as possible. Each county has different rules regarding alternative sentencing. Some counties cooperate with other counties for out of county defendants and some counties will not cooperate. Some counties require some mandatory jail time, particularly on multiple offenses.
This is also known as “House Arrest,” and involves wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically monitors the whereabouts of the wearer. Usually, arrangements can be made for the wearer to go to work or school, so long as they are home by an appointed time.
Work Release/Work Alternative:
This involves working at a site determined by the Probation Department. The participant works there during the day, and gets to go home at night to sleep.
This option allows the participant to keep their own job; however, they return to a dormitory-style facility to sleep at night. They are released to go to work during the day.
Also known as “private jail” ,“weekend jail” or “pay-to-stay jail.” Many local police departments operate a City Jail program. Participants check themselves in to the police station, and usually spend the night there, to be released sometime the following day. This type of custody arrangement is not free, and the fees are usually on top of the court costs and/or fines.
Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation:
Sometimes a DUI or drug-related arrest is merely the unfortunate symptom of an underlying addiction issue. While this is certainly not the case in every instance, some people who are arrested for these types of cases can best address this as an alternative to jail. A skilled defense attorney will know how to obtain this type of relief for their clients, and prevail upon a judge to allow this as an alternative to custody and fines.
For those that are multiple offenders, or have a drug or alcohol problem that has not responded to past attempts at treatment, sober living is sometimes the best alternative. These are houses, both for men and women, where all of the residents are sober. The structure of each house will vary, but residents are usually required to attend a 12-Step meeting daily, participate in house groups and functions, and perform a household chore. In addition to allowing the participant to avoid a lengthy jail stay, sober living environments have helped many improve the quality of their lives.
Other alternatives may be available and should be explored in each case. The Law Offices of Johnson and Johnson have experience in helping clients stay productive after a DUI conviction. Call us today at (925) 952-8900.