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Jail Sentence? There are Options

Posted Friday, July 5, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

Convictions for Driving Under the Influence carry mandatory jail time in Washington State and there is always the possibility that you will be ordered to serve jail or some alternative to jail for any criminal conviction. Here are some other “jail alternatives” available and used by most courts:

WORK RELEASE

Work release is an alternative to jail that allows you to go to work at your job during the day then return to the corrections facility at night. This requires screening by your local corrections facility to participate in the program and a fee will be assessed for use of the facility. Both King County and Snohomish Counties require a certain minimum sentence before you become eligible for the work release program.

ELECTRONIC HOME MONITORING

Electronic home monitoring (EHM) allows you to serve your jail commitment in your home. EHM allows you to go to work and any treatment programs, but you must be in your home at all other times. The cost for this service varies but can be between $15-$25 per day. EHM is set up and monitored by the county, city jail or private company, depending upon where you are serving your EHM commitment.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Community service is an excellent way to both meet any court obligations and also serve the community. Most courts allow someone to find a non-profit agency at which to volunteer. After completing these hours, you need to provide proof on the organization’s letterhead.

DIFFERENT JAILS

Many judges will allow you to serve your sentence at another jail facility at your own expense upon your request. Many of these facilities are much better than the county jail and only house misdemeanor offenders. Some jails such as the Issaquah facility charge a per-day fee to serve time there but it’s usually worth it over the county jails.

I have found most courts receptive to requests to serve any jail time through an alternative or simply at a different jail facility because it both saves the city and county money and allows judges to tailor punishments to the individual. It’s important to ask at sentencing for these various alternatives to jail.

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