WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GO TO JAIL TO SERVE A SENTENCE?
Feb. 1, 2018
If you are charged in a criminal case, you always face the possibility of a local jail term as part of a sentence in your case. At Mastantuono & Coffee, our goal is always to keep you out of jail, or in worse cases, prison. There are times, unfortunately, when a jail sentence is unavoidable, either because of the seriousness of the charge or because of mandatory jail time. In all cases, our defense team works to reduce the amount of time spent in jail. We also work to help you know what to expect if you are sentenced to a jail term.
CAN I GET OUT OF JAIL TO GO TO WORK?
Yes, if you were given Huber release privileges, which means that you can be released from the jail to go to work, to go to treatment, to take care of children, or to search for a job. (We’ll refer to it generally as work release.) Work release is controlled by the jail staff in Wisconsin, and is considered to be a privilege (not a right). This means that if the jail believes that you are not following their Huber release rules, you could lose your good time credit (or the 25% reduction in your sentence), or lose your Huber release privileges and have to serve your sentence as straight time. Straight time means that you are not being released for Huber, and are in jail 24 hours a day.
The day you report to begin your jail sentence with Huber release, you will be evaluated for eligibility according to the jail’s rules. One thing to be aware of is that most jails will give you a drug test and an alcohol test when you get there. If you fail the tests – you used drugs or alcohol and it shows up in the test – the jail can deny your release and you will have to serve the full sentence in jail as straight time.
You will also be able to bring some clothes and other items with you. Be sure to check with the jail to find out what you can and can’t bring with you to jail. You also need to find out what documentation is required, including the fees for Huber release. Many jails will deny release if you don’t have the necessary paperwork or fees.
CAN I GET THE BRACELET INSTEAD OF BEING IN JAIL?
Maybe. When people ask about “the bracelet” they are talking about electronic monitoring. It is an ankle bracelet with a GPS device that keeps track of where you are. If you have Huber release, it will allow you to be at home, and to go to work. The bracelet, like Huber, is run by the jail, and they set the rules. Each jail has its own requirements.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GO TO JAIL TO START MY SENTENCE WHEN I’M SUPPOSED TO?
It’s a felony charge, carrying a possible prison sentence. When we use the term prison in Wisconsin, it means that there is a sentence of more than one year in confinement and that there are no release privileges or good time credit.
DO YOU GO TO JAIL RIGHT AFTER SENTENCING?
Not always. If the judge sentences you to jail time you can be taken into custody right away, or the judge could give you a different day to turn yourself in, commonly called a report date. If you get a day to turn yourself in, you must show up at the jail on the required day, ready to start your sentence.
CAN I SERVE MY JAIL SENTENCE IN THE COUNTY I LIVE IN?
Yes, if your local jail will accept you. Typically, once you report to the jail for your sentence, you can make a request with the staff to be transferred to the jail in the county you live in. This request will only be approved if your local jail has room and is willing to accept you. You can usually find that out before you go to jail.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH A JAIL SENTENCE?
Have an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent you to minimize your sentence. The team at Mastantuono & Coffee works hard in every aspect of your case to achieve that. Whether it’s challenging illegal conduct by police, negotiating with the prosecutor for a better offer, or persuading a judge at sentencing, we can help you through this process to minimize the impact to your life, and to help you get prepared ahead of time so that the process is as easy as possible. Call us today.