Community service: An alternative sentence for some

When you’re accused of a crime, you may have the ability to work on a plea deal with the help of your attorney. One of the things you might want to try to do instead of settling for a jail or prison term is to work out a community service exchange.

Court-ordered community service is sometimes a good option in exchange for incarceration, and it tends to be joined with other alternative sentences such as probation, a suspended sentence or fines.

Community service is typically more beneficial to society than having you go to prison. While prison costs money and becomes an expense to taxpayers, community service provides you a chance to offer your time and services in aid of the community instead. This saves the state money, and it helps strengthen your community.

Community service sentences are seen as a benefit to those who would have otherwise been incarcerated, because it gives them a chance to be engaged in the community and to rehabilitate through service. It’s widely accepted that community service can help educate and enrich the lives of offenders.

The kind of service you’ll perform if you’re ordered to serve a community service sentence depends on your crime. For instance, if you were caught with drugs, you may be asked to speak to students about the dangers of drug use or addiction. If you were speeding while driving under the influence of alcohol, you might be asked to go to community groups or schools to talk about the dangers of drunk driving and disobeying traffic laws.

Source: FindLaw, “Court Ordered Community Service,” accessed June 03, 2016