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Jail vs. Probation

Collins County Criminal Defense Attorneys

One of the many ways we have helped our clients over the last 10 years is by helping them avoid the cost, humiliation and hassle of probation. For most clients, probation is a much worse option than jail if they are found guilty or enter a plea of guilty.

Here is why: Driving While Intoxication probation requires a number of classes, time commitments, restrictions on travel, restrictions on out of state driving, and is extremely costly and you are constantly subjected to supervision of a probation officer. This supervision could include being visited at your home or work by the probation officer.

A better solution for most of our hard working clients is to except a short jail term. I know, most clients are terrified by the idea of going to jail. However, let me explain how a typical jail term works in most Texas counties, including Collin County Texas.

First, clients usually have one to 2 days of jail credit for the day(s) they spend in jail on the night of the arrest. Second, a jail term after a successful negotiation for a first offense Driving While Intoxicated charge in Collin County, Texas is usually for 4 to 10 days. Typically, this does NOT include a fine just court costs. The maximum fine for a 1st DWI is $4,000 so having $0 fine is already a major cost savings. If you accept a jail term, say 6 days and you have 2 days of credit for the time you spent in jail the day you are arrested then you would have a remaining jail term of 4 days.

Third, to complete that 4 day term you would typically check into jail at 10 p.m. on a determined day. Lets say that day is Friday at 10 p.m. You will then be released from jail some time after 12:01 a.m. the next day. In this example it would be 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. You would get a full day of credit for checking in at 10:00 p.m. on Friday AND a full day of credit for being in jail after 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

Yes, that is correct. You would get 2 FULL DAYS of credit for being in jail a little over 2 hours. You would then come back to jail the next week at the same time and be released at the same time until your jail term is complete.

In addition to receiving FULL DAYS of credit for hours in jail, typically you will not spend your time in the actual jail. Instead, you will most likely spend that time in the jail intake. We were the first attorneys in Collin County, Texas to arrange short jail times for our client instead of probation. It was a practice we started nearly 12 years ago.

Finally, if you opt for jail time instead of probation you WILL NOT:

  • 1) have to pay a fine (except in some situations);
  • 2) have to complete and DWI probation classes;
  • 3) have to do any community service;
  • 4) have travel restrictions;
  • 5) have to report to a probation officer or be supervised by a probation officer;
  • 6) be prohibited from drinking alcohol;
  • 7) have out of state driving restrictions; OR
  • 8) have to have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle (in most cases).

In addition to the benefits above, you will typically save yourself anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 dollars in potential fees.

PLEASE NOTE: To get a jail sentence instead of a probation sentence most clients HAVE to set their case for trial. This gives incentive to the prosecutors to offer a much better deal to avoid a trial in which witnesses have to be subpoenaed and a 2 to 3 day trial will take up the court’s time.

Most of our clients prefer this course of action to resolve their case. It makes sense financially and time wise. Contact us today to begin reviewing your case.