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What You Need to Know About Work Release

What it is:

If you have been convicted of a DUI and sentenced to jail time, you may be eligible for a work release program.  “Work release” is permission to leave the jail facility (unsupervised) for a maximum of 12 hours a day, six days a week, to attend work or school.

How is this different from work furlough? Work furlough is a program that is supervised by detention officers and requires the participation of your employer. This program requires you pay a portion of your wages as program fees.

Who gets it:

Anyone who is employed or attends school and has been convicted of a misdemeanor DUI is eligible for work release.  You are not eligible if you have a violent criminal history (including domestic violence) or a history of escaping from or attempting to evade law enforcement.

How it works:

If you have been convicted of a DUI that is not an extreme DUI (.15 to .199) or a super extreme DUI (.20 and above) you are eligible for work release after the first 24 hours of incarceration.  If you have been convicted of an extreme or super extreme DUI, you will be required to serve your first 48 hours in jail prior to being released for work.

The trial judge who sentenced you must write the terms of work release into the confinement order. For example, in your confinement order, the sentencing judge must indicate that you are eligible for work release Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Upon receipt of that order and following your initial term of confinement, you will be released to go to work during specified hours.

You may be released to go to work or school six days per week. You may be released and returned to jail at any hours except between the hours of midnight and 6 AM. For example, perhaps you work a night shift Wednesday through Tuesday from 11 PM to 11 AM. You may be released to go to work Wednesday through Tuesday from 10 PM and return to work at 10 AM. Your work release must be at the same time each day because the jail cannot accommodate variable work or school schedules.

Are there any fees?

Yes.  You will still be required to pay your daily jail fees which vary from approximately $80-$180 per day depending on the contract that your sentencing court has with the jail. Also, if the jail incurs any costs associated with administering the work release program, they can also charge you a fee.

The Legal Jargon: Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1381 and 28-1382.

Arizona Revised Statutes §11-441.F allows the sheriff of the County where you are incarcerated to require any prisoner who is on work release to reimburse the county for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with such release.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-459.

Image Credit: www.maricopacountyjail.net