One of the common sentencing requirements in cases of Driving under the Influence (and related charges such as Reckless Driving) is Community Service. Community Service is essentially non-paid work performed at a church, place of worship or a non-profit agency (a business that is not run to make a profit and has a registered tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service). Generally speaking, Community Service is ordered in addition to, or in lieu of, a monetary fine payment. In many situations, Community Service is ordered along with additional sentencing requirements rather than sentencing an individual to incarceration in the city or county jail.
Some courts, such as the Las Vegas Justice Court, have Community Service Referral Programs that will assign you to a specific non-profit entity or location to report and perform your Community Service. Other Courts allow the work to be performed at a church or non-profit entity of the person's choosing, so long as the Community Service work is documented and proof is provided on the agency's letterhead. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you address which type of Community Service you will be required to do and how to submit proof to the Court. The Court will not accept a Defendant volunteering for a for profit business or volunteer hours without the required proof. In some cases the Court will require a time sheet that is on organization letter head and signed off by someone within the organization.
In many cases, Community Service can be done anonymously, and it is not required for you to wear a neon orange vest and pick up trash on the side of the highway (although that would likely qualify). You can volunteer on your own time, around your other obligations, at charitable organizations, religious organizations, or animal shelters.
There are several resources which can refer you for Community Service work, such as HELP of Southern Nevada. HELP will arrange for you to complete the court-ordered community service at a specific place, based on your residence location, interests, and what you are able to physically do. This will also assist with providing the requisite proof to the Court. In many cases, out of state residents with cases in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada must get Court pre-approval for locations out of the jurisdiction.
Community Service can often be completed in lieu of the payment of a Court ordered fine in situations where someone does not have sufficient funds to pay the fine or is experiencing financial difficulties or loss of work because of their criminal charges. Most Courts will allow for a monetary amount to be attributed to each community service hour and allow the person to “work off” their Court ordered fine amount. For instance, if someone is ordered to pay a $500.00 fine, the Court may allow for $10.00 per each Community Service hour until the amount of the fine is completed, i.e. 50 hours of Community Service.
In most cases where community service is ordered, there will be a status check date scheduled in the future to show proof of the completed hours. It is a good idea to sign up for, and begin, Community Service hours as soon as possible to avoid unexpected delays and show good faith to the Court in completing requirements. Many times, Defendants in criminal cases wait to the last minute, thinking they can complete the hours and unforeseen circumstances prevent them from being done. This case expose a Defendant to jail time or further Court requirements. A knowledgeable Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer will explain to you the best strategies for the completion of the required Community Service hours so that you don't run into an unexpected pitfall or expose yourself to any unnecessary problems.
If you, or a loved one, has been charged with a DUI and is worried about Community Service or Fines, it is certainly beneficial to have an experienced Las Vegas DUI attorney review your case, and fight for you. If you hire Attorney Josh Tomsheck in the early stages of your case, before your first Court date, it may be possible to have your charges reduced or entirely dismissed. If you have already had a Court date, you can still benefit from having him fight for you. He may make it possible so that you never have to do any Community Service. Mr. Tomsheck has countless DUI cases where past clients have had their DUI charges reduced to lesser offenses or completely dismissed. Contact him here for a free consultation.