Alternatives to Jail
Although the DUI penalties in Orange County are harsh, if you are convicted of a DUI a skilled Orange County DUI attorney will be able to negotiate a creative sentencing option to minimize the damage. Some of the sentencing options most frequently used by the Law Offices of EJ Stopyro include the following:
Secured Electronic Confinement (SEC)
SEC, also known as “House Arrest,” is usually the most sought-after alternative to jail. It requires that you wear an ankle bracelet that electronically tracks where you are at all times. You will be monitored by the Probation Department and you will be allowed to go to work, school, the alcohol program, and any other necessary destinations such as the grocery store or the doctor. In Orange County, some judges will allow this option but most will not.
Residential Alcohol Treatment Program
Often, a DUI is merely a symptom of an addiction to alcohol or drugs. In this case your DUI lawyer may be able to convince a judge to allow you to serve some or all of your jail sentence in a residential treatment program. These are live-in facilities that allow you to go to work but the rest of the time you will be required to attend group and individual counseling. Typically these facilities also require participation in a 12-step program. You must bear the cost of the program and there is no good-time/work-time credit available.
In some cases your DUI attorney can convince the judge to allow you to serve your time picking up trash on the side of the road under the supervision of Caltrans. You will spend eight hours a day working for Caltrans but the rest of the day is yours. There is no cost for this program and scheduling is often very flexible.
Orange County leads the nation in this innovative and intense program. If you apply and are accepted for the DUI Court Program, your jail sentence will be suspended. If you successfully complete the program, (which takes at least a year) then you wont have to serve any time.
This program is intense and should not be considered unless you are truly devoted to beating your addiction. If you participate, you will not be allowed to consume alcohol at all and will be tested randomly. You will be under the constant supervision of the court, the probation department, and the county health department. You will be required to attend frequent group and individual counseling as well as psychological therapy. You also must make regular court appearances in the DUI court for progress monitoring.
Private Jail / Work Furlough (Pay-n-Stay)
If you must serve actual jail time, a quality DUI lawyer may be able to convince the judge to allow you to serve your sentence in a private jail. This is vastly different from the Orange County jail in many important ways. First, private jails have work furlough programs where you are allowed to leave jail for up to 12 yours a day to go to work. Also, your personal safety will not be threatened in a private jail as it is in the Orange County jail. Furthermore, you will get good-time/work-time credits and will only have to serve two-thirds of your actual jail sentence
The drawback to this option is cost. Private jails typically cost between $75 and $125 a day. But the cost is well worth the alternative of serving time in the Orange County jail. Some of the private jails in Orange County include Huntington Beach City Jail, Seal Beach City Jail and Fullerton City Jail.
This option allows you to serve your jail sentence on the weekends. You can serve your weekends in the Orange County jail or at a private jail. This option allows you to remain out of custody Monday thru Friday. However, wherever you serve your time you will be required to bear the costs.