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What You Need to Know About Work Furlough, Part 1

Previously on our blog, we have written about the incarceration programs of work release and home detention that may be available to people who are convicted of a DUI.  There is also a third program, work furlough, which bears mentioning.  We will be covering work furlough in two blog posts.  This first post will discuss what work furlough is, who is eligible, and how the program works.

What is it?

If you have been convicted of a DUI and your sentence involves jail time, you may be eligible for a work furlough program.  This is a program that allows you to continue your regular employment while being incarcerated in a detention facility.  Work furlough differs from work release because it is more restrictive.   It requires the participation of your employer, payment of a daily program administration fee, and is more closely supervised than work release.

Who gets it?

The sentencing judge must allow for work furlough in the order of confinement.  Typically, those convicted of misdemeanor DUI are eligible for work release, whereas those convicted of felony DUI may be eligible for work furlough.

Individuals are not permitted to participate in the work furlough program until they are approved by adult probation and the sheriff’s office of the County in which they will be incarcerated. For example, in Maricopa County, you must be screened by a Maricopa County Superior Court pre-sentence report writer and pass a medical screening test before they allow you to participate in work furlough.

You must have a job and have at least 30 days remaining on your sentence.

Your employer and/or school personnel must sign a Letter of Understanding indicating your rate of pay, your work/school hours and that they are aware that you are participating in and agree to the Work Furlough Program.

How it works.

Once you have been incarcerated you will attend the work furlough orientation at the jail.  If you are approved during that process you will be released for a very brief period of time, approximately 4 to 8 hours, to obtain your Letter of Understanding from your employer, your $125 money order and any items of clothing. You will then return to the jail to begin the program.  If you can arrange to have these items available to you prior to surrendering to the jail, you may be enrolled into the work furlough program more quickly and therefore return to work more quickly. This includes completing your presentence report writer screening and medical screening test before surrendering to the jail.

The program is administered by your probation officer who provides the jail your release hours that coincide with your work hours and to allow for accommodation for travel to work.

In general, you may be released for a maximum of six days per week for 12 hours per day. You are not permitted to work in your home, for family members, or friends. If you are self-employed, you must provide the last two years of income tax returns, or documents that verify that you are a tax paying and/or licensed business entity.  Other than being allowed to return home on the first day of admission to the program, you are not allowed to return home during the period of work furlough.

During the program, you are monitored for drug and alcohol use. What this means is that the jail can test for alcohol or drugs at any time it deems appropriate.  Should you fail a drug or alcohol test you may be removed from the work furlough program.

The Legal Jargon: Arizona Revised Statutes § 31-333 to 336.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI, it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side.  At Oracle Law Group Office, P.C., we have veteran DUI attorneys who want to handle your case and guide you through this difficult time.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, every day counts.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.  At Oracle Law Group Office, we listen, we care, and we want to help.

Image credit: Inmate L/1506 on www.flickr.com