Dude's going to the clink for 5 days. What to expect?
October 28, 2008 1:36 PM   Subscribe

What can someone expect when they go to jail for five days for a DUI?

A person I know decided that he did not want to do over 200 hours of the community service to which he was sentenced for a 2nd DUI. Instead, he is opting for 5 days in jail. This is in a smallish (pop. ~200,000), somewhat economically challenged city in the eastern USA. I am just wondering, out of curiosity, what kind of experience can he expect while in the clink? He (stupidly, in my opinion) thinks it will be a cakewalk and he'll be out in about 24-48 hours. Anyone out there know what he might expect?
posted by nomad73 to Law & Government (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2008

posted by sanko at 1:39 PM on October 28, 2008

I'll withhold my own experiences in this regard because they can be so specific to the facility he'll be doing his time in.

I will say though that certain job applications have a question, "Have you ever spent time in a correctional facility". I had to answer "yes" to that one just a couple of weeks ago. His decision to take jail time instead of doing the service work will be detrimental to him in more ways than he thinks. Not to mention that doing service work stands to benefit him in ways he probably doesn't even realize.
posted by Roach at 1:43 PM on October 28, 2008

ah, crap I missed that one SpiffyRob and Sanko - sorry, and thanks.

@ Roach - I believe you are absolutely correct. People who care about him have pleaded with him to do the service, but he won't. I mean, who picks jail?!?
posted by nomad73 at 1:47 PM on October 28, 2008

NEVER accept an offer to do you a favor, such as helping you carry your stuff. It will be shortly demanded back, in spades.
posted by KRS at 1:51 PM on October 28, 2008

I went to jail for a few months a long time ago. Really wasn't a big deal, it just sucked. It depends on your state. Here in WV, if you're sentenced to 6 months and 1 day, you can earn "Good time", which means you get a bonus day for every day you serve, assuming you do community service. Anything under 6 months and one day (i.e. 6 months) means you do, well, 6 months.

Here if you get hauled in for DUI it's a 24 hour stint, however they generally credit you for time served and let you out in about 10 when it's time to see the Magistrate. Of course, second offense here is supposed to be 6 months in the clink.

He's going to get all jumpsuited up. He'll have to open his asshole to show a guard. He might very well get sprayed with some delightful chemical. If it's a local jail, he'll probably either freeze his ass off or cook the whole time he's there. If he's unlucky and it's like here, he'll have to sleep on the floor because there won't be any cots available. Other inmates and guards will treat him like shit because 1) he took the jail option because he apparently thinks he's pretty hot shit and 2) because they have to waste their time with him for 5 days. If he gets on the wrong side of a guard, he can assume that his time will suck immeasurably, as they can lock him down for 23.5 hours a day, serve him last, bunk him badly, whatever.

Bottom line, he needs to do what he's told when he's told to do it, followed by "ma'am" or "sir." No talking at chow time? Don't fucking talk. Step into your cell? Step into your fucking cell. Stand on the footprints and spread your ass? Stand on the foot...you get the idea.

Moving on to the actual person behind the issue here, sound like he's an alcoholic who thinks he's got some sort of adventure ahead of him. Jumping to conclusions? Yup, but "Screw the community where I might have killed someone I'd rather do 5 days in the clink" is a pretty shitty attitude, and I don't know any 2nd offensers who got caught their second time drunk driving. I certainly hope that someone scares the ever loving piss out of him.

Also, lots of communities charge up to $150/day for short jail stays. I hope they hit him with a $750 bill myself. (Cuz if you don't pay it they garnish or put you back.)

Oh, and guards. Yea, they can make shit suck, or they can make it go by faster. Piss one off and the next thing you know your 5 days is 10 because you threw something at him or you picked a fight or what the hell was this doing in your mattress?

That's my experience, anyway.
posted by TomMelee at 2:44 PM on October 28, 2008

[My wife is a DUI defense attorney. She has lots of experience with clients doing time. Here's what she has to say...]

The most common response she gets is how bad (and I mean horrible) the food is. Seriously, it's pretty vile slop. He probably will not be able to go in with his belt, shoelaces, or books (though some jails allow it). So he should wear slip-on shoes, so as to minimize the walking around with the floppy tongue syndrome. He should not bring his fancy watch or necklaces or a lot of cash in his wallet, but, honestly, he'll get all that back as long as he turns it over as he gets processed (i.e., doesn't keep his necklace on the inside)

Generally, DWI/DUI offenders will be placed in a population of other misdemeanor offenders (those serving sentences of a year or less), so it's more domestic violence charges and less of the violent criminals. There are very few sexual assaults, or even physical violence. The cells are small and he'll spend a good portion of the day in his cell.

Speaking to how much time he'll serve: Depending on the jurisdiction, he could actually serve less than his 5 day sentence. But you can't be sure, so maybe he will do the whole time, plus the time it takes to get "processed out" (transported, given back his clothes and personal effects, etc.). Some counties / cities count the time he spent in Jail the night (day?) of his arrest, so if he already spent 6 or 8 hours in jail, these might be deducted from his sentence. Also, they might process out all of the prisoners being released on a particular day at once, so that might also save him a few hours. That could even mean one day "off" -- and that's not to mention double credit. Some jurisdictions count double time for every day. So then he could be out in as little as 2 or 3 days.

Your friend might not be able to call until he's released. And his phone may have died before he's released. So have him take a buck in quarters to call a friend to get picked up when he's released.

G'luck to your friend, even if he is/was an asshole for endangering the lives of others.
posted by zpousman at 6:31 PM on October 28, 2008

Thanks. To be clear, he's not my friend - just a person I know. And he is indeed a complete asshole for the DUI, not once but twice. He's got problems. I honestly hope that this experience for him is a lot harder than he thinks it's going to be. Thanks for the responses - much appreciated.
posted by nomad73 at 7:19 PM on October 28, 2008

Look on the bright side... maybe he will end up teaching himself a lesson, one that he will not want to learn twice.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:26 PM on October 28, 2008

in case anyone ever stumbles upon this, an update:

he spent less than 5 hours in jail. Yeah. 5 fucking hours. So, basically, no consequences. I suspect he'll do it again, though (i just hope he doesn't kill anyone) and get caught and then hopefully they will throw his ass in the clink for 90 days. Or more. Asshole.
posted by nomad73 at 1:49 PM on November 10, 2008

« Older What are specific dishes associated with religious...   |   Middle Name Activism Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.