Are There Alternatives to Incarceration

Are There Alternatives to Incarceration?

Although an offender should be punished for violating the law, incarceration doesn’t have to be the default punishment handed down. In this article, we’ll discuss alternatives to incarceration and why they are worth pursuing.

Community Service

Following a night out on the town, you mistakenly decided to get in the driver’s seat of your vehicle even though you had a few drinks already. A police officer quickly spotted you not long after you left the parking lot and you’re now staring at a DUI charge.

If this is the first time you were caught driving under the influence, your criminal lawyer in Philadelphia can advocate for community service instead of potential jail time or even probation. In this case, community service may involve speaking to other motorists about your experience or perhaps performing maintenance work in your area. The court may also order you to pay restitution if you damaged any property while driving under the influence.


Probation is another alternative to incarceration. Compared to community service, probation is more restrictive because you’ll have to check in with your probation officer regularly. In some cases, offenders are closely supervised by their probation officers.

Even accounting for the limitations of probation, it remains preferable to incarceration because you’ll be able to avoid the dangerous environments presented by jails and prisons. Following instructions closely is a small price to pay for your safety.

House Arrest

White collar criminals guilty of committing serious offenses may be deemed ineligible for both community service and probation. However, the judge may still be convinced that conventional incarceration is too extreme of a penalty given the circumstances.

In this situation, the judge may decide to sentence the offending party to house arrest. Typically, house arrest limits the guilty party to their property and possibly their workplace. To ensure that the offender is following the terms of their house arrest, they will be ordered to wear a GPS ankle bracelet at all times. House arrest can be difficult to deal with, but it’s still a more desirable alternative to jail or prison. 

Diversion Program

Last but not least, your attorney can also ask for a diversion program sentence if you wish to avoid prison. Diversion programs are relatively new alternatives to incarceration that will take your case out of the criminal justice system and grant it pre-trial status again. It will stay out of the trial track until you complete the requirements of your diversion program.

The diversion program itself may be made of different elements. It may include some form of community service, probation, and mandatory attendance in treatment programs. If you committed a traffic violation, you may also lose your driving privileges for a while.

Fight For Alternative Sentencing With Our Help

Don’t just accept your jail or prison sentence without putting up a fight. Work with us at The Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino Jr., your top blue and white collar crime attorney in Philadelphia, and we’ll secure a fair sentence in your case. Contact us today for more information.