If you are arrested for a DUI, obviously, a problem must be addressed. For first time offenders, this problem is typically a simple lapse in judgement, although one that often has dire consequences attached. For repeat offenders the problem is often deeper, and prosecutors, jurors, and the court system as a whole tend to view incarceration as the best solution. However, incarceration, more often than not, presents added hardships for the DUI offenders and their families, and serving time rarely results in the rehabilitation the system tries to pride itself on. Prison won’t change past events, but allowing DUI defendants the opportunity to get on with their lives and make positive changes is the best way to bring some good out of an otherwise sad situation.
Rather than spending time in jail or prison, DUI offenders may have the opportunity to embrace alternative sentencing, helping them to rebuild their lives and continue working and caring for their families, while also paying their debt to society. Here’s a look at some potential alternatives, some of which are often combined in sentencing.
Electronic Monitoring/House Arrest
Your activities are monitored and you will have a curfew. However, arrangements are often made allowing you to continue to work and attend other necessary appointments.
Work Release and Work Furlough
Work release programs allow offenders to work at a site approved by the probation department. They are then allowed to return home at the end of the work day. Work furlough is similar, however, participants return to an assigned dormitory after work.
If your DUI offense is the result of a more serious underlying problem – an addiction to drugs or alcohol – drug or alcohol rehabilitation is a suitable alternative to prison or jail. Of course, rehabilitation should be voluntary, and you must want to change your life. Otherwise, it is really just a waste of time.
Sometimes, other sentences will be combined with community service. You will be expected to perform some useful service within the community – often at a site approved by the court or probation department. This alternative sentencing is also designed to help you to learn and grow as well. You will be expected to perform a certain number of hours within a specified period of time.
The idea is that you turn yourself over to a specified local jail for a night or weekend, serving your sentence in increments. This allows you to pay your debt to society while continuing to live your life, albeit with restrictions.
There are many other types of alternative sentencing that may be available, depending on the specifics of your DUI case. Contact an experienced DUI attorney for assistance today.