Can I serve my jail time on weekends?
The Virginia Code allows jail time for misdemeanors to be served on weekends in order to help you keep your job. A number of things will influence whether the judge will grant weekends:
- Does the local jail have a weekend program? Do they have space? If the jail “doesn’t do” weekends, the judge will not make them.
- Does the judge “believe” in weekend time? Most judges will grant weekend time but there are some that will not.
- Do you have a job that weekend time will help save? Again, different judges rule differently. Not all judges will ask if you are currently employed in order for you to serve weekends.
- Do the prosecutor and arresting officer object to you serving weekends? If you were “belligerent” or argued with the officer, you may not get weekends.
What are “jail weekends” like?
It varies a lot. A few jails have a weekend work program where you don’t have to stay overnight. Most will require you to report Friday night and keep you until Sunday night. Some start their weekend on Saturday mornings. Other jails allow you to pick any two days as a “weekend.” Ask your attorney, or call the jail.
Can I drive to my weekend jail time?
The Code of Virginia allows driving to weekend or non-consecutive jail time with a restricted license. You have to ask the judge to authorize it, and (usually) have ignition interlock installed in order to drive to weekend jail.
Can I serve a felony DUI sentence (for 3rd or subsequent DUIs) on weekends?
Courts are split. The Attorney General says “no.” But, some judges still allow weekends on felonies.
For more information, please see http://tgblaw.blogspot.com/2012/08/weekend-time-for-felons-may-be-barred.html.
What the law says:
§ 53.1-131.1. Provision for sentencing of person to nonconsecutive days in jail; payment to defray costs; penalty
Any court having jurisdiction for the trial of a person charged with a misdemeanor or traffic offense or charged with any offense under Chapter 5 (§ 20-61 et seq.) of Title 20 may, if the defendant is convicted and sentenced to confinement in jail, impose the time to be served on weekends or nonconsecutive days to permit the convicted defendant to retain gainful employment. A person sentenced pursuant to this section shall pay an amount to defray the cost of his keep, which amount shall be the actual cost of incarceration but shall not exceed that amount charged to the Compensation Board for purposes of reimbursement as provided in the general appropriation act. Such amount shall be collected by the sheriff, if he is responsible for operating a jail, or by the regional jail superintendent, and remitted by the sheriff to the treasurer of the appropriate county or city, or by the regional jail superintendent to the regional jail board or authority, solely for the purposes of defraying the costs of such weekend or nonconsecutive incarceration. The funds collected pursuant to this section shall not be used for purposes other than those provided for in this section. The assessment provided for herein shall be in addition to any other fees prescribed by law. If the defendant willfully fails to report at times specified by the court, the sentence imposed pursuant to this section shall be revoked and a straight jail sentence imposed.
If an offender who has been sentenced to nonconsecutive days by the court is in violation of the rules of the jail pursuant to § 53.1-117, the sheriff or jail administrator may require the offender to serve out a portion or the entirety of the remainder of his sentence in consecutive days. Upon revoking the offender’s ability to serve his sentence on nonconsecutive days, the sheriff or jail administrator shall notify in writing the court that sentenced the offender and indicate the specific violations that led to the decision.
The time served by a person sentenced for violation of state law in a local jail, regional jail, or local jail farm pursuant to this section shall be included in the count of prisoner days reported by the Department for the purpose of apportioning state funds to local correctional facilities for operating costs in accordance with § 53.1-84.