Friday, July 29, 2011

Ithaca Cortland DWI Lawyer: When is a Day NOT 24 Hours?

Today is my trick question day. People sometimes have to do some Jail time. This is differentiated from Prison time. Jail is the local county place, in Tompkins county you are in my mind, relatively safe, I like to joke tater tots and Monopoly, because that is what I smell and see when I visit.

The way the penal system works is you get to spend time with fellow prisoners/jailers in pods (small groups of inmates) in county jail unless you are real bad. Generally, the worse you (don't get along or play well with others) are the less time, and the less people you get to spend time with. The really bad people get solitary confinement (they get to be completely alone). Prison means going into the deep state system.

1. A day is not 24 hours when it is a jail/prison day. Even five minutes spent in the county lock up counts as ONE FULL DAY. Check into jail at 11:55pm, and you have one full day credit.

2. A jail sentence is usually 2/3 time. Meaning that 6 months is really 4 months. 30 days is really 20 days. Time spent on weekends from Friday evening to Sunday evening counts as 3 FULL DAYS even though you spent a small part of Friday and half of Sunday in Jail.

3. Lately I have seen more and more Judges giving short sentences of a weekend or two for first time DWI cases. It is still a small minority but it is an emerging trend. For people who violate their conditional discharges, and probationary sentences jail is inevitable. Understanding your options, and how much time you are really looking at is important. This is especially true if your sentence can be limited to only weekends. The advantage of weekend jail is maintaining (as in keeping) your job, and of course your family relationships.

4. Potentially, violations can bring up to 15 days in jail. Misdemeanors up to a year in jail. Felonies more than a year of jail, and usually mean Prison time at those longer terms of confinement.

If you have any questions about your New York State DWI, criminal, or drug case give me a call at 607-229-5184 or email me at

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