The Texas criminal statutes created a work release program for inmates of county jails waiting for transfer to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and defendants sentenced to the county jail work-release program. Defendants convicted of DWI can be eligible for the work release program if the trial judge makes a finding at sentencing or later that the defendant is a low-risk offender.
Some work release programs let defendants work during the week and check in to the county jail on Friday nights to serve their sentences on the weekends. The “weekender” programs vary from one county to another.
How the Payment Works in the Texas Work Release Program
The defendant will get some of the money earned, after statutory deductions, when released from jail or incarceration. The employer pays the money to the sheriff of the county where the defendant is located. The sheriff will deposit the earnings into a special account.
The money in the account can go to support the defendant’s dependents and pay restitution. After making these deductions, the sheriff will pay the county a portion of the remaining funds to cover the money the county spent on the defendant’s confinement in county jail. The commissioner’s court of the county will determine the amount to collect for the defendant’s “room and board.” This is done by calculating the average daily cost of confining defendants in the county jail and the number of days the individual stayed in jail.
The judge can instruct the sheriff not to charge the full confinement costs or restitution amount if the judge feels the defendant’s dependents would suffer hardship as a result. The judge can make this decision at the sentencing or a later date.
Which DWI Defendants Can Participate in DWI Work Release Programs in Texas
A DWI defendant can only be eligible for a work-release program if the judge sentenced the defendant to jail time for a misdemeanor or confinement in the county jail for a felony. The judge can send the defendant to a work-release program either at the time of sentencing or at any later date while the defendant serves the sentence.
There are two qualifications for DWI work release programs in Texas:
- The sheriff classifies the defendant as a low-risk offender; and
- The judge decides that having the defendant participate in a work-release program would best serve the interests of justice.
How to Get Help with a DWI in Texas
The DWI lawyers at Eddington Worley Attorneys can help you with your DWI case. We help you exercise your legal rights if you are facing charges of DWI in Texas. Call us today at 855-600-6695 for a consultation.