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Orange County Drunk Driving

Alternative Sentencing in Orange County

Many individuals arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County are working people with families who can not afford to be incarcerated. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Orange County, California and are prepared to accept a plea bargain or are convicted of driving drunk, alternative sentencing options may be available to in lieu of imprisonment in an Orange County jail. Some of these include:

Community Service

An experience DUI attorney in Orange County can attempt to work with the judge to lesson your sentence by agreeing that you will commit to doing community service. Community service for DUI is often directed at benefiting victim's rights groups, such as anti-drunk-driving advocacy groups. The service may include speaking about the dangers of driving under the influence, and assisting the groups with events. You might also be able to volunteer at a charity that you feel strongly about.

The Courts in Orange County often have a referral program to direct you to a specific place to do your community service. You will need to carefully record any and all time spent doing community service, no matter the charity or job, because the court will require a formal record of hours. Typically, eight hours of community service will convert to one hour of jail time.

CalTrans Freeway Work Program

Another option in Orange County is working under the CalTrans Work program. This involves removing litter from the roadways, clearing brush or removing graffiti from the walls of city buildings and is generally set as a condition of probation.

You will need to arrive at one of many Caltrans locations, choosing one closest to you, early in the morning, as it is on a first come first serve basis. A van will pick you up and take you to the day’s work destination and return you at the end of the day.

The Caltrans program in Orange County offers flexible scheduling during the week and on the weekends, however many people prefer the weekends, so you need to arrive early to secure your place in line.

Every hour spent working for Caltrans counts against the hours that would have otherwise been spent in jail. A certain length of time is usually allotted for you to complete the required hours. If the required hours are not met in that time, you will likely face a violation of probation charge and may be required to do actual jail time.

Sober Living Programs

Depending upon the circumstances of your case, an experienced DUI attorney may suggest that the judge consider sober living services as an alternative to jail. These services generally provide housing, alcohol and drug counseling, education, and employment assistance. The community includes meeting spaces to host self-help and educational meetings, as well as sober social events. Recent university research has shown sober living to be immensely effective in promoting long-term recovery from alcoholism and addiction.

House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring

House arrest or home electronic confinement is either arranged by the Orange County probation department or a private company. House arrest requires that you remain at home, electronically monitored, but will allow you to continue your regular activities, such as going to work, attending school, caring for your children or other family member who may be dependant upon your car, as well as going to appointments and shopping for necessities. This program is typically offered as a condition of probation and will usually cost a nominal fee. It is important to note that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office objects to any home confinement on DUI cases and it is advised that you consult with an experienced DUI attorney to have the best chance of obtaining house arrest on multiple DUI offense cases.

Many different licensed programs and companies are available that provide electronic monitoring. Some programs involve strapping an electronic device to your wrist or ankle linked to a monitor in your home. A computer at the contractor or probation office receives a signal sent by the device that indicates whether you are in compliance with the house arrest terms. Other programs will require that you respond to random phone calls to insure compliance with house arrest or will utilize global positioning systems (GPS) that will monitor your location at all times via satellite. The devices will record whether you remain within an accepted area, such as at home or your workplace.

Only certain DUI offenders are eligible for house arrest as an alternative sentence. In a first offense DUI case there may be no mandatory jail time, however a judge can impose a sentence of up to six months in jail. In this type of case, electronic monitoring may be a viable option. However, if you experienced more than one DUI conviction within 10 years, jail time could be mandatory.

Private Jail or Work Furlough

If the judge absolutely requires that you serve actual time in jail, you may opt to serve your sentence in a private jail facility. In a private jail you can often get work furlough privileges, which means that you work during the day at your regular job, then return to the private jail for the remainder of the day. This option can be a bit expensive but would be much less disruptive to your life than total incarceration, as you will be allowed to keep your job. This option is rarely available in Orange County and it is advised that you contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney to discuss this option.

More Information:

Orange County Law Enforcement
DUI Schools
What to Ask a DUI Lawyer is an informational website provided by a top Orange County DUI lawyer to help those charged with drunk driving in these Orange County cities: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Surfside, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.