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DUI Jail Time

Los Angeles, CA |

If I am sentenced to a certain amount of days at a county jail-which the judge says "straight" does this mean I get no credit for good time/work time, if I'm a trustee, etc? What if the jail is busy? Im in their for a DUI thats all I have ever had on my record-its LA County Jail. Thanks

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Penal Code section 4019 governs the awarding of "good time/work time credits". From what you have stated in your question, there is no reason to think that you will not get 4019 credit. But remember, what you are sentenced to and how much time you actually serve may be two very different things. Here in Los Angeles, with all the budget cuts and overcrowding, Sheriff Lee Bacca is cutting people loose early left and right for "non-violent" offenses. In other words, if you are sentenced to 10 days in the County Jail, you can expect to serve maybe 2 or 3 days. Be glad you are not in Orange County, they are making every body do EVERY day they are sentenced to (which includes 4019 time). So if you were sentenced to 10 days County Jail in Orange County you would do all 7 days!


  2. Some courts are flexible in allowing people to serve jail time when it is convenient for them. For example, if a court ordered 10 days they may allow someone to serve the time over several weekends. "Straight" is probably a term of art in your jurisdiction that means you have to serve your days over consecutive days, not weekends. Contact your attorney, they will be able to answer your question.


  3. Be careful and clear when you hear "straight" time. You need to talk to your lawyer about it. Some judges say "straight" time meaning it must be served consecutively rather than broken up in increments. Other less experienced judges sometimes say "straight OR actual" time...this is VERY different. This means that you would enter your plea but sentencing would be continued. This prevents you from being released. Let me give you an example. Let's say the judge wants you to serve 10 actual days, without the benefit of good time-work time, etc., because the judge knows LA releases inmates early. So, you plea and surrender on Monday and sentencing is put over 10 days later. You go into custody, stay there for 10 days, and are ordered out 10 days later for sentencing. Then, you get sentenced to time served. They do this because they know that if you get sentenced to 10 days and surrender at some point thereafter, you'll get released very quickly because of the overcrowding. As for good time-work time credits, you're entitled to it and should get it, unless they pull the "straight or actual" time trick. So make sure it is NOT a continuance of sentencing, or "actual" time. It probably isn't and is probably just consecutive time, in which case you get the benefit of good time-work time, overcrowding, etc. But I've seen inexperienced judges use the term "straight" time meaning "actual", which is incorrect and have screwed many a client handled by a less informed attorney.

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