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When A Mandatory Jail Sentence… Isn’t

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Just because you’re guilty of committing a crime with a mandatory jail sentence doesn’t mean you have to serve time in jail! Many crimes in California carry mandatory minimum jail sentences. Most commonly those who receive a second DUI conviction within 10 years of their first will find themselves facing time in the county jail. If it’s mandatory it must mean there’s no way to avoid it right? It must mean hiring a lawyer just isn’t worth it; after all how could they possibly help you?

Well, turns out that in California a savvy criminal defense lawyer would know that secured electronic confinement (SEC) is always an option! SEC can take many forms in California, depending on the county you live in. While many people think it literally means you can only stay in your house, that’s not true. Your lawyer can attempt to get exceptions for work, school, or other necessary tasks you must attend to on a regular basis.

So how does this process work? Let’s say the District Attorney doesn’t want to budge and will only offer a plea deal involving 60 days of jail(!). If the DA will not agree to SEC, your attorney can still ask the Judge if he would be willing to grant some or all of that time as SEC. Even if the *Judge* doesn’t agree, you can ask the jail facility you are taken to if they are willing to release you on SEC. With the jails being so overcrowded in California, these requests are often granted. The problem is, if you don’t know about it then you won’t get it! Yet another reason to make sure you have good counsel, regardless of the charges against you.