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Top 5 Alternatives to Serving Jail Time

House arrest isn’t just for the movies; it really does exist. In fact, it is one of the most popular forms of alternative sentencing that can be used instead of jail time. But, not all cases will qualify for these alternatives.

A judge will have to assess the circumstances of the crime to decide if you qualify for any of these alternatives. Your criminal defense attorney can help represent your requests during the sentencing hearing and hopefully, you can avoid jail time.

Suspended Sentences

Suspended sentences can be ideal for some. With these, the judge doesn’t hand down the sentence and the reasons for why can vary. This is especially true if an individual is a first-time offender.


You may be granted probation and avoid jail time. You can live your own life and live in your home, but you will have strict rules placed on you by the courts, and you may be prohibited from communicating or fraternizing with certain company, abide by a curfew or unable to consume alcohol.

Paying Fines

Depending on the offense, you may just be able to pay a fine and never spend a day in jail. Fines for some people are more punishment than having to stay in jail.

The amount of the fine will depend on the crime and what the judge decides is a fair settlement. White collar crimes will usually encounter fines, while violent crimes often do not qualify.

Community Service

Instead of going to jail, you may be sentenced to community service. With this, you will use your free time out of jail to service the community, such as picking up trash, volunteering at a shelter or even teaching a class. The judge will be specific about what constitutes community service, so make sure you do your time or you could go to jail.

House Arrest

House arrest works when prison or jail is not appropriate. It is usually assigned to people who are ill or have a particular vulnerability that makes jail life inappropriate for them.

But, to qualify for house arrest, you must have committed a non-violent crime. You will have to wear an ankle monitor and you may be checked in on by the local authorities throughout the week, too.

Want a Jail Alternative? Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney in Miami Now

If you want to stay out of jail and take advantage of one of these jail alternatives, then you need a skilled attorney by your side. Miami criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Paul J. Donnelly, P.A. can help.

Contact us at 305-757-3331 now for a no obligation consultation.

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