If you’ve been convicted of a crime, the court may order you to perform community service. But what is it and who is eligible?
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what court-ordered community service is and how it works. We will also provide examples of different types of court-ordered community service.
If you are looking for more information about this type of sentence, you came to the right place. So if you have to do court-ordered community service in Louisiana, keep reading for everything you need to know.
What Is Court-Ordered Community Service?
Court order community service is a type of sentencing a court can impose on an offender. The court will order the offender to perform a specific number of hours of service to the community as part of their punishment.
This sentence is usually given to first-time offenders or those who have committed minor crimes, but it’s not always available to everyone.
You may be required to do court-ordered community service as part of your probation or as a condition of your release from jail.
Community service can come alongside other sentences such as:
- Suspended sentences
- Deferred adjudication
- Pretrial diversion
If you are ordered to do community service, you will be required to complete the hours assigned to you by the court. And failure to do so may result in harsher penalties such as jail time.
Types of Community Service Court-Ordered
There are many different types of court-ordered community service. The type of service you will perform depends on the court order. And in most cases, the type you serve must have a direct connection to the crime.
Some common types of court-ordered community service include:
Working in a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen
Food bank community service involves working at a food bank or soup kitchen. You may have to help sort and distribute food or serve meals to the needy.
Working in a Homeless Shelter
If you have to do community service at a homeless shelter, you may have to help run the shelter. This may include cleaning, cooking, or providing other support services.
Volunteering in a Hospital or Nursing Home
You may have to help with the care of patients in a hospital or nursing home. This may include providing companionship, running errands, or helping with meals.
Doing Environmental Work
The classic sentence you often see people performing on TV. This type of work may involve picking up litter, planting trees, or working in a community garden. Often, these services are for a city or a park.
Mentoring Disadvantaged Youth
Mentoring youth can involve working with at-risk children. This is often in a school setting or providing support and guidance to young adults.
Rehab Program Work
Rehab programs are to help those with substance abuse charges. A court may decide that the community will benefit from abusers entering into these programs. But often, attendance isn’t enough and you may have to do more.
How Does Court-Ordered Community Service Work?
If a judge sentences you to court-ordered community service, you will have to complete a certain number of hours. Then, the court will assign you to a community service organization.
You must complete your community service hours with the organization. Once you have completed your court-ordered community service, you will need to provide proof to the court.
Proof of completion can be in the form of a letter from the community service organization or a court-issued certificate.
Benefits of Community Service Over Other Sentences
There are many benefits to court-ordered community service. It’s a much more practical punishment than other sentences, such as jail time.
Community service allows the offender to give back to the community and make up for their crime in a productive way. It also allows the offender to stay in the community and maintain their job and family.
Community service is also a good way to rehabilitate offenders and help them turn their life around before circumstances get worse.
Who Can Complete Court-Ordered Community Service?
Court-ordered community service is not an available option for serious sentences like life imprisonment. And you do not have to be a citizen of the United States to complete court-ordered community service.
If you are an undocumented immigrant, you can still complete court-ordered community service. You’ll need to provide proof of your immigration status to the court. You will also need to provide proof of your identity with a passport or other government-issued identification.
In addition, if you are a juvenile, you may have to complete court-ordered community service.
How Long Does It Take to Complete Community Service?
If you are ordered to do community service, you will have to complete the hours assigned to you by the court. And the amount of time it takes to complete court-ordered community service depends on the sentence.
The court will assign a certain number of hours that you must complete. Typically, offenders must meet between 50 and 100 hours of community service. But the court will determine how long the sentence is.
For example, the court may specify that the offender has 12 months to complete 100 hours of community service. If for some reason you cannot complete your hours, you can request extra time with good reasoning.
Learn More About Court-Ordered Community Service
Court-ordered community service is a verdict that requires the offender to perform a certain number of hours of community service.
Community service is a much more practical punishment than other sentences, such as jail time. It allows the offender to give back to the community and make up for their crime.
If you need representation after an arrest or summons in Baton Rouge or Livingston, contact Carl Barkemeyer, Criminal Defense Attorney. We’ll help you determine whether or not community service is applicable in your case.