What is Court Ordered Community Service for a DUI and how does it work?
Depending on where you live, completing court ordered community service hours might be part of clearing up your DUI. Community Service is time spent volunteering for a non-profit organization or public service. It is often used as a means to reduce jail time, probation, fines and often added as a penalty with a DUI conviction. The total number of hours that a person is ordered to serve varies by case, state and judge. However, hours required to serve will generally increase with the severity and number of DUI convictions on record.
It is important to ask your probation officer or reporting authority how long you have to complete your hours so you can make sure you complete them on time. Sometimes, you are allowed to choose where you complete your community service hours. It varies by state but depending on where you live, your probation officer will most likely provide you with a list of places where you can complete your hours at.
After finding out how many hours you must complete, when they must be completed by, and if there are specific places you must complete them at, you should create a plan and calendar of how you are going to successfully complete the hours.
If you are not given a list of approved Non-Profits to serve hours at and are required to find your own place to put in hours, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Think about what kind of work you would like to participate in.
- Guidestar has a list of all non-profits in the US and is sortable by state and city.
- Once you pick a non-profit, make sure to double check with your probation officer or reporting authority to make sure the non-profit you have chosen is approved and your hours will count.
- Many times, bigger cities around the country have lists on their websites of organizations you can complete your court-ordered community services hours at.
- Often courts have buy out options. This means you can purchase your community service hours rather than work them off manually. The fees and availability vary by State and you should consult with your attorney to see if this is an option.
Having the right Attorney is very important if you are looking to get your jail time shortened through serving community service hours. Not all attorneys are the same, so doing your research and comparing a few will be beneficial as this will be critical for your case.