DUI Q&A Series - Will I Have to Serve Jail Time for My DUI?



Are there other solutions to serving jail time for a DUI? A DUI comes with a mandatory jail sentence, but, there are a number of ways that jail time can be reduced or mitigated. Options in Washington State include electronic home monitoring and work release. The best thing to do is talk about the alternatives with your lawyer so you can find the best fit for you.


The prospect of jail time as a result of a DUI conviction is frightening. Thankfully, there are a number of ways that that jail time can be reduced or mitigated. Unfortunately, DUI comes with mandatory jail time. If you're convicted of DUI, the court must impose a jail sentence. The first way to avoid that would be to not be convicted of DUI by either having the charge reduced, dismissed, or potentially with you being found not guilty after a trial.

But suppose you are convicted, what then? On a first offense, and in some cases even on a second offense, some or all of the mandatory jail time can be converted to what's called electronic home monitoring. It's house arrest on an ankle bracelet that you have to pay a daily fee for, and you'll typically serve longer on home monitoring than you would have in jail. But, you do get to go to work, you can continue to live your life and serve your sentence at home instead of in jail.

In some counties, there's a program called work release. Work release is a less restrictive jail. You spend your time in a different facility, much more like a dorm than a jail. You leave during the day and go to work continuing to live your life., You return and spend the night back at that facility overnight and usually on the weekends.

If you're afraid of having to go to jail as a result of your DUI conviction, the best thing for you to do is to take the time to talk about all of the alternatives with your lawyer so that they can help you find out which alternative is right for you, so that you don't have to spend more time in jail than is absolutely necessary.

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