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What Is Alternative Sentencing?

What Is Alternative Sentencing?

When an individual commits a crime, some sort of punishment is expected. While jail time is the image that conjures up in the minds of most people, there are many types of alternative sentencing. Alternative sentencing is any type of sentencing besides jail or prison time and is typically imposed when an individual commits a crime that is not serious enough to require jail time, but too serious to go unpunished.

What are the Types of Alternative Sentencing?

There are numerous types of alternative sentencing, such as:

  • Probation – Individuals will often be placed on probation after completing a jail sentence or in lieu of a jail sentence. While stipulations will vary depending on the specific situation, most individuals on probation are expected to obey similar rules. It is expected that individuals on probation obey all laws and abide by all court orders. Additionally, they will typically have to report regularly to a probation officer who will generally take into account his or her records and ask for random urine samples.
  • Community Service – Sometimes offenders will be allowed to “serve their sentence” outside of jail by completing community service activities. Community service activities are broad and can include park cleaning, landscaping or another service that benefits the community.
  • Work Release – Work release is an alternative sentencing option that allows the individual to maintain employment while also giving back to the community by working. Typically, as long as individuals are reporting to work during the daytime or on weekends, they can avoid going back to jail.
  • House Arrest – House arrest is similar to jail time; however, the individual is confined to their home rather than in jail. Depending on the crime, house arrest will have different stipulations. For example, some individuals on house arrest may leave their home during certain hours to work or for another approved activity. The individual’s activities are monitored by an electronic monitoring anklet, which is frequently reviewed by the court.
  • Diversion or Rehabilitation – For drug crimes, diversion or rehabilitation will often be utilized in place of jail time. This may involve taking classes regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse as well as frequent urine samples to ensure the individual is not abusing drugs or alcohol.

Who is Eligible for Alternative Sentencing?

Not everyone will be eligible for alternative sentencing. Typically, individuals who are first-time and non-violent offenders will be considered for alternative sentencing whereas those with violent or multiple offenses will not. Ultimately, alternative sentencing can be a great option for those who qualify, but whether or not someone qualifies is based on their specific circumstances.

At the Khonsari Law Group, defending your rights is our highest priorities so if you or a loved one is in need of an attorney, contact us today. We understand the legal process can be confusing but want to help guide you through this trying time. If you have any questions about alternative sentencing, contact us today, or visit us for a free consultation.

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