Nowadays, for a wide variety of crimes, the courts are choosing to punish in a different way: through alternative sentencing. Alternative sentencing is known as a way to give back to the community in exchange for less time in prison or a reduction in fines and other penalties. One of the most popular alternative sentences is court-ordered community service, which is a form of punishment that is intended to benefit a community that has been harmed by a crime. For instance, if a defendant was caught littering or dumping trash illegally, an appropriate community service sentence would be ordering them to clean up trash along a highway.
Many people may feel that, if they have been sentenced to community service, they have dodged a bullet (prison time) and don’t have to take it as seriously. There are serious consequences when you do not fulfill your community service time as expected.
If You Cannot Meet the Demands
There is no excuse to skip out on community service and then go in front of the judge and tell them that you were unable to complete the standards. Let’s say that you are sentenced and then you aren’t able to fulfill the requirements because you suffer from a life-threatening condition and your doctor won’t allow you to over-exert yourself. The first thing you should always do is contact your probation officer about the issue and tell them your grounds for not being able to complete the service at this time, because a judge will probably be lenient and think of an alternative punishment. However, if you choose to not say anything and arrive at court in front of a judge, they will think you willingly skipped your service and you will be punished further.
Failing to meet the sentence requirements can lead to imprisonment or harsher penalties than you could have expected in the first place. You would be found in criminal contempt of court, which could get you even more time tacked onto your criminal sentence. You want to avoid any additional charges, which is why you should always take your case seriously and speak to your probation officer about your options.
At the Law Office of Peter Blair, we can help you defend against charges that could be stacked against you. It is important to know your options. Call us for more information on how we can help you with your case.