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Will jail time come from not completing community service hours?

San Fernando, CA |

I was given a ticket for having an open can of alcohol in public, the judge assigned me 18 hours of community service. This was about 6 months ago and i still have not completed it due to problems consuming my time at different jobs, i was able to get extensions from the court and ordered to pay an additional 10 dollars each time, but was told that only the judge can grant the extensions. I have a court date in 2 weeks and i'm wondering if jail time is going to be my punishment for not completing it on time. I have no criminal record and have only ever received a few infraction tickets my whole life. Please reply, i'm really very shaken and don't know what i'm in for when i go to court in 2 weeks.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. If your charge is a misdemeanor, then yes, you could be looking at some jail time. If your conviction is only for an infraction, they the judge can only impose a fine. He apparently gave you a break by imposing community service instead of a fine. He could also give you more community service as additional punishment unless he thinks that is pointless. If you are so worried about what the judge is going to do to you, why don't you just do the community service? You could get it done in a week or two if you really wanted to do it. No, forget the excuses. The judge listened to them the first time but probably won't want to listen to the same story again. You have had plenty of time, and 2 weeks left. Do as much as you can (certainly, you can to half of it!), and see where the chips fall.


  2. I think your question is really, should I do the community service or ask for another extension and if I do, what will the judge say? I think you should just take time off work (use your discretion and best judgment on how you should best handle this) and do the 18 hours. As Nike used to carry as their slogan, just do it. Just do it. Do not take the risk or incurring the wrath of a judge who certainly will feel he or she is merely getting strung along. We all have jobs and responsibilities and time constraints. If I were a judge listening to you and looking at prior extensions of time for a mere 18 hours of community service, I would consider contempt of court and jail time to resolve the matter, which then may, yes, cause employment issues with you. Just make the commitment to do the community service and just do it.


  3. Do as many community service hours before the hearing. 18 hours is not a great deal of hours to complete . Doubtful if jail will be given- but it is a possibility . Get the community service done!

    Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777


  4. Many judges have been determining that there is a probation violation and may sentence you for a few days without removing the 18 hours of community service since in LA many defendants are being booked and release immediately so some judges now prefer not to change the cs to jail time. Don't wait for the two weeks. Go in now because it shows respect. Bring an attorney because if you say that your job was the issue, then you are more likely to upset the judge. They don't like to be disrespected and that excuse may set them off. God bless.

    www.YourCriminalDefenseLawyer.com
    for your Freedom, for Fairness, for your Future because sometimes good people find themselves in unpleasant situations
    (800) 409-7010

    The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


  5. If you go back in your mind to the hearing itself, or if you look at the docket sheet in the case, the court already told you what the sentence would be, then the court placed you on probation on condition that you do certain things. If you did not do what you agreed to do, then the judge could impose jail time up to the amount he stated at the sentencing hearing.
    OSCAR E. TOSCANO
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

    I am licensed to practice in the state of California. I handle cases from Sacramento to San Diego. I have handled cases in Federal District courts from Alaska and throughout the United States. My comments and opinions are based on California law and are based on the limited information provided in the question. Legal questions are usually fact specific and a few facts can and often does change the opinion I would give. It is better to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction (your geographic area) and provide specific details regarding your case in private. You would get more specific advice. The contents of the conversations with your attorney are confidential and are protected from being revealed. The statements made in this public forum (AVVO) are not confidential and could be revealed. Therefore, you must be very careful in the details you provide. Do not disclose information that could be a crime or that could be used in order to prove a crime was committed. If you are in California and want to clarify any of my answers, feel free to contact me.

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