If you and your attorney have analyzed your case and determined that it is not one that is suitable for pleading not guilty and going to trial then you must next start thinking about punishment options. The two main options are jail vs. probation. Let’s face it nobody wants to go to jail. But, sometimes it is more advantageous to go to jail for a DWI than it is to do probation. Each situation has to be analyzed. There are no one size fits all solutions.
3 ADVANTAGES TO BEING SENTENCED TO JAIL INSTEAD OF PROBATION FOR A DWI
- YOU DO NOT HAVE THE FEES ASSOCIATED WITH BEING ON PROBATION IF YOU OPT FOR JAIL TIME INSTEAD OF PROBATION FOR YOUR DWI PUNISHMENT.
When you are placed on probation there are soooooo many fees:
- you have to pay at least a $50 monthly reporting fee in most counties;
- a DWI education class fee;
- an interlock device fee;
- a fine and court costs;
- a drug/alcohol evaluation fee;
- a victims impact panel fee;
- a crime stoppers fee;
- a payment plan fee;
and so forth and so on. You get the picture.
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH PROBATION IF YOU OPT FOR JAIL TIME INSTEAD OF PROBATION FOR YOUR DWI PUNISHMENT.
There are soooo many requirements associated with probation that it can seem like a part-time job.
- you must report to probation at least once per month (more if given intensive supervision);
- you may have to take a DWI education class
- you may have to take a victim impact panel class;
- you may have to complete community service hours;
- you may have to complete a drug/alcohol evaluation;
- you may have to go to drug/alcohol treatment (which could be in patient or put patient).
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PROLONG YOUR PUNISHMENT IF YOU OPT FOR JAIL TIME INSTEAD OF PROBATION.
Probation is usually much longer than jail time. For instance, you may be sentenced to 30 days in jail vs. 12 months probation for the same case. And due to the fact that you can become a trustee in most counties and you can receive up to 3 days credit for every one day actually done in jail, that 30 days could actually be 10 days served.
THE EASY WAY TO COMPLETE JAIL TIME FOR A DWI
If you opt to do jail time as punishment for your DWI, you can do it on weekends or on work release. The requirements for getting either of these programs differ depending on the county. But, here is how they generally work:
Weekends: This program usually requires the person to check on Fridays before midnight and be released Sunday after midnight. If the county is one that gives 3 for 1 credit, the person will have completed 12 days toward their sentence in a weekend. If the county gives 2 for 1 credit the person will have completed 8 days toward their sentence. If the county gives 1 for 1 credit the person will have completed 4 days toward their sentence.
Work Release: This program requires 12 consecutive hours of incarceration per day each day of the week until the sentence is satisfied. For example, the person may check into the jail at 6 pm after going to work and be released to go to work the next morning at 6 am.
The advantages to using either of these programs to satisfy your jail sentence are:
- you get to keep your job;
- you discharge your sentence faster than being on probation;
- you do not have to be in the general population of the jail in most counties;
- you can still take care of some of your personal business.
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