A DUI conviction can wreak havoc on a person's life. In an addition to legal fees, a conviction often brings hefty fines that can be very difficult to repay. If the offender is sentenced to jail, the problem becomes worse-work or school will have to be put on hold until the sentence is complete, making it even harder to regain a secure financial footing.
There is another way-some drivers convicted of driving under the influence in Utah may be eligible for school or work-release program. These programs allow convicted criminals to continue their gainful life activities while serving their sentences. However, one Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney says that participation in school- or work-release programs isn't cut and dry and always requires a judge's approval.
Who is Eligible for School or Work Release in Utah?
Under Utah law, misdemeanor offenders may be allowed to participate in a school or work release program so long as a judge has not issued an order prohibiting them from participating. Felony offenders are allowed to participate only if school or work release is part of their probation agreement.
In order to participate, the offender's county jail or detention facility must have an active school or work release program. Not all counties offer these programs. If you are interested in a school or work-release program it's important to discuss this with your attorney well before your DUI sentencing.
Depending on the county, offenders may be released to work at a job they currently hold, to look for a new job or to attend an educational institution. In many counties, jail supervisors get to select which individuals are eligible for school or work release.
How Do Utah Release Programs Work?
The exact procedures for school and work release programs differ from county to county. Generally, participants must inform jail supervisors of their work schedule and contact information and allow jail supervisors to stop by the worksite for compliance checks. Many counties also require a participation fee.
Usually, participants are allowed to bring their own clothes and shoes into the jail. In many cases, they are also allowed to drive their own vehicles to and from work.
School and work release is just one way to protect your future after a conviction for DUI or another crime. If you are facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney who can help you understand all your options.