What Are Alternative Punishments to Jail Time in Virginia?

Read this blog and reach out to our firm today to learn more about alternative punishments to jail time in Virginia. Our skilled Richmond criminal defense attorney is on your side.

What are alternative punishments to jail time in Virginia?

Your eligibility for an alternative sentence will rely on several different factors, including the crime that you were convicted of, your criminal record, and the detailed circumstances of your case. A skilled criminal defense attorney will understand the general options and your eligibility for them. Some alternative sentences may include:

  • Suspended jail time. A suspension of jail time suggests that you do not have to serve your prison or jail sentence as long as you comply with the requirements put in place by the judge. Instead, you are put on probation. This may include active supervision or simply unsupervised probation. Conditions that are typically set include not committing any other crimes, paying fines and court costs, completing a substance abuse treatment program, paying restitution to the victim of the crime, and completing community service. If you disregard the terms of your probation, you will be instructed to observe a hearing where the judge could order you to serve some or all of the suspended sentence.
  • Jail served on weekends. Some jails allow individuals to serve their sentences on weekends so that they can remain employed. Each jurisdiction has its own requirements and application processes. Space can be restricted. The Fairfax County weekend confinement program requires you to report by 6:00 p.m. on Friday and be released at 8:00 a.m. on Monday. You could be subject to random blood, breath, or urine tests. You must pay a fee of $2.00 per day for the program.
  • Work release. You may be qualified for a work release program by which you are released from jail to go to work each day. Like weekend jail programs, each county has its own program and qualification requirements.
  • House arrest. This is also understood as an electronic incarceration program and permits you to stay at home and continue your employment instead of serving your sentence in jail. You must wear an ankle or other electronic device, pay a portion of the fee for the program, be subject to random home inspections, and live in Virginia. People who have committed certain felonies, such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, and felony sex crimes, are not eligible for the program. You should consult with your attorney about whether you may be eligible for home confinement.
  • Community service. In some circumstances, a person may be convicted to conduct community service instead of jail time. The judge usually sets a specific number of community service hours that the person must perform. Further penalties, including costs and fines, may be analyzed too.

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Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., we handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today to get started on your defense.

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