There are three main alternatives to serving your sentence in custody. All three have different rules attached. The procedure for jail alternatives starts in Court. When you are sentenced, the Court will generally state what Alternative Sentencing you are eligible for. Some Judges say nothing, and the fact that they did not object to any alternative sentencing is to be taken as just that, no objection. The way it works is that you will be sentenced to a set amount of time. Whether it be 2 days on a 1st Offense DUI, or up to one year, the Court will sentence you to this time. It will then be up to you to go and apply for one the alternative sentencing providers based on which ones the Court stated you were eligible for. If for some reason you fail to sign up, or do not qualify, you will still owe the time you were sentenced to, it will be in custody however. The Court in Sacramento will provide a deadline for you to sign up for the alternative sentencing. The Court will also set a date for you to turn yourself into custody if you did not sign up or qualify for alternative sentencing.
Sheriffs Work Project– generally performing some type of physical labor for the Sheriff’s, for the most part the labor is not psychically strenuous. There are numerous different assignments for those that have the physical capabilities and those do not.
Home Detention– this is also run by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. This is basically house arrest with an ankle monitor.
Goodwill Alternative Sentencing Program– this is general community service and needs to be specifically authorized in Court. If you have some medical condition which would make you ineligible for the Sheriffs Work Project, and due to either financial or other circumstances cannot do the Home Detention program, this is the ideal sentence. But the Court will have to specifically agree to it, and many times it will be over the objection of the District Attorney.
UPDATE: Sacramento County no longer uses Goodwill Alternative Sentencing Program. You now are referred to a list of eligible community service providers and told to contact the one of your choice. The list is here.
Contact Sacramento DUI Attorney for more information on which jail alternative is best suited for your individual situation. Available at (916) 233-7346 and in his office by appointment.