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Jail sentences are unavoidable in many DUI cases. California law requires jail sentences for repeat driving under the influence offenders. In addition, in a case in which there are certain aggravating factors, a jail sentence is likely.
There are DUI cases in which alternatives to jail may be considered. One of the alternatives to a jail sentence in a DUI case is home detention. In recent years, home detention has become ever more widely utilized in cases involving driving under the influence.
California Home Detention Law
The California Criminal code includes a provision that permits minimum security inmates and low-risk offenders to serve their sentences on home detention rather than in jail. Certain types of DUI cases do fall within in this Code provision permitting home detention in lieu of jai. The Code allows time spent on home detention to be counted towards a minimum jail term requirement.
How Home Detention Works
As a general rule, home detention in a DUI case does not require a defendant to remain in his or her residence all, or most, of the time. While on home confinement, a defendant is able to leave his or her residence for work. This can be up to eight hours a day. In fact, the time outside of the home for work can be increased beyond the eight hour mark.
While on home detention, a defendant is also likely to be permitted several hours outside the home for personal business. This includes things like grocery shopping and other necessary activities.
A defendant submits to a screening process in advance of being accepted into the home detention program. This includes a review of a defendant’s criminal history. It also includes an examination of a defendant’s proposed living situation while on home detention.
Electronic Monitoring on Home Confinement
Another element of home confinement is electronic monitoring. Typically, electronic monitoring is undertaken by private companies.
Electronic monitoring can be as simple as a requirement that a defendant check in by phone from time to time. At the other end of the spectrum, electronic monitoring can involve the use of an ankle bracelet, enabled with GPS.
Home Confinement and Jail Overcrowding
A major problem in Los Angeles County is jail overcrowding. As a result, many DUI defendants are placed on home confinement, if they do not have an extensive criminal record.
Thus far, the home confinement program in DUI cases has been helpful in reducing jail overcrowding, at least to some degree. As of this time, Los Angeles County seems committed to utilizing the home detention program as much as reasonably possibly.
The Judge and Home Confinement
The sentencing judge actually has a limited role when it comes to home confinement in a DUI case. The judge has the ability to permit or restrict a defendant’s ability to seek home confinement. However, the judge does not make the final decision regarding place a defendant on home confinement.
If a judge permits a defendant to be considered for home confinement, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office makes the final decision to place a defendant into the home confinement program.
Consult with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney
The best course to take to find out more about DUI charges and prosecutions, as well as the Los Angeles home confinement program, is to meet with a qualified DUI lawyer. The typical Los Angeles DUI lawyer charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.
During an initial consultation, a DUI defendant can discuss with legal counsel the home detention program in greater detail. He or she can also get answers to other questions as well.