Can I serve jail time in lieu of fines?

I just received my second offense of driving under the influence. I have not yet had my court date but am well aware that the fines will be astronomical. I’m also aware that I will receive a mandatory jail sentence. My question is, can I serve additional time in lieu of paying those fines which I will incur?

Asked on August 25, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you can serve additional time in jail in lieu of the additional fines that will be assessed against you for your second driving under the influence offense if convicted is something the sentencing judge will take under consideration under mandated set sentencing guidelines for any convicted offense under California law.

Some courts in California do allow work programs for people convicted of certain offenses where instead of coming out of pocket for the fines, the person who either plead to an offense or was convicted does "work detail" for a county program. This option depends upon whether or not the county where you have been charged with this offense has such a program and if so, whether or not the sentencing judge will allow you do do the requested work for the county in lieu of coming up with money out of your own pocket.

Good question.


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