Do I Have to Go to Jail If I Am Charged with a DUI?

By August 10, 2016Thomas Law Firm

DUI conviction can end with different punishments for different cases – there is no one-size-fits-all DUI punishment. You do not necessarily have to go to jail if convicted of DUI. There are several alternatives that the court may consider depending on the facts of your case.

In some cases, the judge may decide that simple probation is the most appropriate punishment. Other times, those with DUI convictions may be ordered to attend alcohol education or treatment classes to prevent future DUIs. Some judges recommend house arrest, while others could be allowed to participate in a work release program, which means that, while nights would be spent in jail, participants would be allowed to leave the jail to go to work.

Bear in mind that failure to adhere to the terms of alternative sentencing can lead to a person being immediately remanded to jail or can result in additional criminal charges.

When Will I Be Eligible for Alternative Sentencing for DUI?

In general, you have a better shot at alternative sentencing the more minor your case is. If, for example, there were no aggravating circumstances in your DUI (such as causing an accident), you have a good chance of receiving a less serious punishment. Additionally, for those who have clean criminal records, alternative sentencing is more likely. And if your charges don’t quite meet the standards of DUI (if you were driving with a BAC between .05 and .08, for example) you face better odds of receiving a more lenient punishment. If you have been charged with DUIs in the past, your odds of receiving alternative sentencing are lower, but it can still happen. That is why, no matter what your criminal record looks like, it is wise to discuss your options with a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.

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