Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) face numerous consequences, including license suspensions, substantial fines, mandatory alcohol-education program attendance , and jail time. However, many courts and prosecutors in California have devised sentencing alternatives in lieu of jail time and as part of plea bargain agreements. Sentencing is typically suspended while the DUI offender works to comply with whatever the sentencing alternative might be. Experienced California DUI/DWI attorneys fully explore the various sentencing alternatives to insure that their clients obtain the best possible outcomes.
Typically, sentencing alternatives are designed not only to punish California DUI offenders , but also to help them. There are several sentencing alternatives available for California Drunk Driving offenders that include diversion classes, house arrest, electronic monitoring, community service, ignition interlock devices, sober living environments, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and participation in a MADD Victim Impact program. Many of these alternatives are more effective than jail time and allow California DUI offenders to retain their jobs and obtain the treatment they may need for alcoholism. Time spent in jail is not always the best punishment and many California judges agree that sentencing alternatives can benefit both society and the California DUI offender.
California DUI Sentencing Alternatives Examples
One alternative allows California DUI offenders to receive good time/work time custody credits that are exchanged hour-for-hour in lieu of suspended jail time. So long as the individual continues to work and stay out of trouble, he or she will spend little or no time incarcerated. This is a form of probation and most often is combined with another sentencing alternative. Another option is known as the “work furlough” alternative. This option allows California drunk driving offenders to maintain their current jobs, but after work return to and sleep at dormitory-style facilities. Some California DUI offenders are allowed to serve their jail sentences at private jails, also referred to as “city jails.” These jails provide a non-threatening environment for California DUI offenders rather than a traditional jail and are often located at a local police station or other separate facility. Generally, the accommodations are a lot nicer than a traditional jail, and sometimes even include “private rooms” rather than actual “cells.”
Sentencing alternatives generally tend to be more rehabilitative in nature. The courts have recognized that there is little, if any, path toward rehabilitation by just having a DUI offender sit in a county jail. California Drunk Driving Offenders who are incarcerated end up losing their jobs and become unproductive individuals; thus, burdening society. In addition, those arrested for a California DUI who are alcoholics and who receive treatment in a sober living environment, most likely will not go out and drink and drive again. Overall, alternative sentencing options are often more attractive to DUI offenders than incarceration, and California DUI attorneys should review each of their cases to determine what sentencing alternatives may be available to their clients.