If I get 10 days in jail, how long will I have to serve?
It depends whether those days are mandatory, misdemeanor, or felony. If you are sentenced to 10 days of:
- mandatory misdemeanor time, you have to serve 100% or all 10 days,
- misdemeanor time, you serve 50% or 5 days,
- felony time, you serve 85%.
The “good conduct credit” for misdemeanors and the “sentence credit” for felonies depend upon you obeying the rules.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that is punished by a year or less in jail. A felony is a more serious crime that allows for more than a year in prison.
Do I get credit for the time I already served after arrest?
Yes. You get credit for the time you were in jail before getting out on recognizance or bond.
Can I do weekends for mandatory, misdemeanor, and felony time?
If the judge approves weekends and the jail has a weekend program, you can serve misdemeanor and misdemeanor mandatory time on weekends. Whether you can serve felony time on weekends is currently hotly contested.
What the law says:
§ 53.1-116. What records and policy jailer shall keep; how time deducted or added for felons and misdemeanants; payment of fine and costs by person committed to jail until he pays
A. The jailer shall keep a (i) record describing each person committed to jail, the terms of confinement, for what offense or cause he was committed, and when received into jail; (ii) record of each prisoner; and (iii) written policy stating the criteria for and conditions of earned credit in the facility and the revocation of such credit.
Unless he is serving a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement, each prisoner sentenced to 12 months or less for a misdemeanor or any combination of misdemeanors shall earn good conduct credit at the rate of one day for each one day served, including all days served while confined in jail prior to conviction and sentencing, in which the prisoner has not violated the written rules and regulations of the jail.
The jailer may grant the prisoner additional credits for performance of institutional work assignments, participation in classes, or participation in local work force programs, if available at the facility, at the rate of five days for every 30 days served. The time so deducted shall be allowed to each prisoner for such time as he is confined in jail. It shall be the responsibility of the jailer in each facility to determine the manner in which these additional credits may be awarded and to include this information in the written policy mandated by clause (iii) of this subsection.
For each violation of the rules prescribed herein, the time so deducted shall be added until it equals the full sentence imposed upon the prisoner by the court.
However, any prisoner committed to jail upon a felony offense committed on or after January 1, 1995, shall not earn good conduct credit, sentence credit, earned sentence credit, other credit, or a combination of any credits in excess of that permissible under Article 4 (§ 53.1-202.2 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title. So much of an order of any court contrary to the provisions of this section shall be deemed null and void.
B. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 19.2-350, in the event a person who was committed to jail to be therein confined until he pays a fine imposed on him by the court in which he was tried should desire to pay such fine and costs, he may pay the same to the person in charge of the jail. The person receiving such moneys shall execute and deliver an official receipt therefor and shall promptly transmit the amount so paid to the clerk of the court which imposed the fine and costs. Such clerk shall give him an official receipt therefor and shall properly record the receipt of such moneys.
C. The administrator of a local or regional jail shall not assign a person to a home/electronic incarceration program pursuant to subsection C of § 53.1-131.2 in a locality which has a jail operated by a sheriff, without the consent of the sheriff.
Virginia Code § 53.1-187. Credit for time spent in confinement while awaiting trial
Any person who is sentenced to a term of confinement in a correctional facility shall have deducted from any such term all time actually spent by the person in a state hospital for examination purposes or treatment prior to trial, in a state or local correctional facility awaiting trial or pending an appeal, or in a juvenile detention facility awaiting trial for an offense for which, upon conviction, such juvenile is sentenced to an adult correctional facility. When entering the final order in any such case, the court shall provide that the person so convicted be given credit for the time so spent.
In no case shall a person be allowed credit for time not actually spent in confinement or in detention. In no case is a person on bail to be regarded as in confinement for the purposes of this statute. No such credit shall be given to any person who escapes from a state or local correctional facility or is absent without leave from a juvenile detention facility.
Any person sentenced to confinement in a state correctional facility, in whose case the final order entered by the court in which he was convicted fails to provide for the credit authorized by this section, shall nevertheless receive credit for the time so spent in a state correctional facility. Such allowance of credit shall be in addition to the good conduct allowance provided for in Articles 2 (§ 53.1-192 et seq.) and 3 (§ 53.1-198 et seq.) of this chapter or the earned sentence credits provided for in Article 4 (§ 53.1-202.2 et seq.) of this chapter.
§ 53.1-202.3. Rate at which sentence credits may be earned; prerequisites
A maximum of four and one-half sentence credits may be earned for each 30 days served. The earning of sentence credits shall be conditioned, in part, upon full participation in and cooperation with programs to which a person is assigned pursuant to § 53.1-32.1. For a juvenile sentenced to serve a portion of his sentence as a serious juvenile offender under § 16.1-285.1, consideration for earning sentence credits shall be conditioned, in part, upon full participation in and cooperation with programs afforded to the juvenile during that portion of the sentence. The Department of Juvenile Justice shall provide a report that describes the juvenile’s adherence to the facility’s rules and the juvenile’s progress toward treatment goals and objectives while sentenced as a serious juvenile offender under § 16.1-285.1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no portion of any sentence credits earned shall be applied to reduce the period of time a person must serve before becoming eligible for parole upon any sentence.