California’s DUI laws can be complex and confusing. In this section, our attorneys break down the rules and explain the process.
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Penal Code 4024.2 PC is the California statute that sets forth many of the requirements for a work-release program. Per this law, offenders can avoid jail time by agreeing to perform work of a manual nature that helps the community (for example, cleaning up graffiti).
In some cases, work release can even involve DUI offenders completing a drug/alcohol treatment program or certain educational classes like:
Under California law, one day of courses or one day of labor counts as one day of confinement in jail.
The judge overseeing a DUI case has the discretion to award a person guilty of drunk driving with work release instead of confinement. Sometimes the judge may offer it as possible sentencing options, but in other cases, a defendant may have to specifically request it.
It is critical for DUI offenders to speak with DUI attorneys or criminal defense attorneys to learn if they have the option of entering a work release program.
In some DUI cases, a judge may allow a defendant to enter a California work release program instead of serving time in city jail or county jail.
This form of alternative sentencing is authorized under California Penal Code 4024.2 PC.
Per this law, a person in a work release program must complete manual labor that helps the community in some way. Examples of this type of work include:
One day of performing this community service type of work counts as one day of confinement in jail.2
Some work release options may include an offender completing vocational training, dependency treatment, education classes, life skills classes, and parenting classes in addition to, or instead of, manual labor.3
One full day of these classes counts as the same amount of time as one day of confinement. For example, a person completing five days of parenting courses will receive credit for five days of jail time.
The administrative fee for work release participants is usually $100. Counties often offer full-time and part-time work release programs. Part-time programs typically involve doing work on the weekends so that the person can keep his regular job.4
Entry in a work release program is typically controlled by the judge overseeing the DUI charges/DUI sentence.
In some cases, a judge may recommend the program. In other cases, a defendant may have to specifically request entry into a program. Note, too, that a judge may flat out deny the program in cases of a serious DUI offense (for example, fourth time DUI).
It is important for people with a DUI conviction to consult with a defense lawyer, DUI lawyer, or law firm to learn if they have the option of entering a work release program. Most lawyers offer a free consultation. This means people can get their frequently asked questions answered at no charge.
Also keep in mind that communications with an attorney are protected by the attorney-client relationship. Lawyers cannot disclose these communications without the specific approval of their clients.
No. In a work release program, an inmate is allowed to go to his/her home after completing a full day of work.
In contrast, work release furlough is a correctional program that allows certain inmates to be transitioned into a county-based institution and:
Note that if an inmate violates a work furlough condition, he/she can be forced to return to a county correctional facility to serve out the remainder of a jail sentence. Also, if this violation is a new criminal offense, then the inmate may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts involved.
The standard penalties for a first-time DUI conviction under California law can include:
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.
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