After being convicted of a criminal offense, many people hope that part of their sentence will include community service. Court-ordered community service has many benefits for convicted individuals, including the possibility of avoiding jail time. However, community service after a conviction is also largely. misunderstood. Below, our Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer explains.
What is Court-Mandated Community Service?
Community service that is mandated by the court is a type of sentence the court can impose on individuals convicted of a criminal offense. When an individual is ordered to perform community service, the court may require them to perform a certain number of hours of service within their community. Community service is usually only an option for first-time offenders or people who have committed crimes that are not considered very serious. Unfortunately, community service is not an option that is available to everyone.
Community service also often accompanies other sentences. These can include suspended sentences, pre-trial diversion programs, probation, and fines. Anyone who is ordered by a court to perform community service must complete the required number of orders or they will face very harsh penalties. You must prove that you completed the community service by obtaining a certificate from the community organization that you completed the service for.
What are the Benefits of Court-Ordered Community Service?
Court-ordered community service can help you avoid jail time, which is often the biggest benefit for those accused of a crime. However, there are other benefits that come with a sentence to community service, too.
Community service allows you to give back to your community in a very productive manner. By staying in the community, you can also maintain your position of employment and continue to spend time with your family. The rehabilitation benefits of community service have also been well established. Individuals often find that after giving back to their community, they can turn their life around and get back on the right track.
Types of Court-Ordered Community Service
The community service a person is ordered to perform usually relates to the crime they have been convicted of. Some of the most common types of community service include:
- Work in a soup kitchen or food bank
- Work in a homeless shelter
- Performing environmental work
- Volunteering in a nursing home or hospital
- Rehab programs, for those who are convicted of a crime such as a DUI and when a judge has determined rehabilitation is necessary
- Mentoring disadvantaged youth
Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ouachita Parish Can Advise on Community Service
If you have been charged with a crime, our Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer can provide the sound legal advice you need and give you the best chance of beating the charges or receiving a reduced sentence. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our skilled attorney can outline your options, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation.