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Community Service Lawyers

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Community Service Lawyers

When issuing a criminal sentence, a judge has a lot of discretion to impose penalties that are appropriate to the criminal activity. Traditional and alternative sentences are options a judge has. One type of alternative sentence option is community service.

What is Community Service?

In criminal law, community service refers to a form of alternative sentencing to benefit the community at large. The benefit to the community is to compensate it for the criminal activity or any harm done to it.What is the Objective of Community Service?

The object of community service is to provide the community with unpaid work and alternative to jail.

What are Some Types of Community Service?

Community service varies depending on the jurisdiction and what the judge wants the offender to do. Some types of community service involves:

  • Picking up trash
  • Working with a non-profit agency
  • Assisting people at a nursing home
  • Give lectures or teach about the offender’s criminal act

Will I Have an Other Punishment in Addition to the Community Service?

Yes, it is possible a judge will sentence an offender to more than just community service. Other types of punishment include:

  • Probation
  • Restitution
  • Fines

Is Community Service the Same as a Diversion Program?

No. A diversion program refers to judge allowing a defendant to undergo an alternative sentence option instead of jail. This option is usually offered prior to trial for criminal charges relating to drugs, alcohol or domestic violence. Instead of helping the community, the diversion program focuses on rehabilitating the offender. 

What Happens If I Don’t Complete the Community Service?

To receive community service, the offender’s original sentence is suspended. This means the offender may have been sentenced to jail time. If the offender doesn’t complete community service, the original sentence may be imposed.

Do I Need an Attorney Regarding My Community Service?

Yes. Contact a criminal lawyer regarding possible community service. You should also talk to an attorney if the community service wasn’t completed.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 03-01-2016 01:26 PM PST

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