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What Does the Sheriff’s Work Program Entail?


Interviewer: Can you give us more details about the sheriff’s work program? Give me an idea of what that is.

Aaron: It’s basically performing some type of community service with the sheriff monitoring your activities. You would report in to or near a jail facility and have to be there at a certain time. You are restricted from bringing your phone or any other electronics. You can bring a lunch usually.

Then they either have you clean up the streets in that area or a park or a graveyard or something like that, depending on that county. Sometimes, they’ll throw you in a van and take a group of you somewhere to go clean. You pick up trash. Sometimes it’s some type of a work project. Depends on what they’ve got going on. It usually involves a broom or a bag that needs to be filled up with trash.

Difference in How Various Northern California Counties Will Pursue DUI Charges

Interviewer: Let’s get a quick recap about the differences between Marin County, Sonoma County and San Francisco County.

San Francisco Will Ask for the Maximum Penalties for a DUI

Aaron: In San Francisco, let’s talk about if you go to trial. San Francisco is the biggest wildcard with the Das. The District Attorneys ask usually for the most amount of time. You’re biggest risk of the three would be if you went to trial and did not win in San Francisco. In Marin, you usually know what you’re looking at. In Sonoma, they’re usually not going to be asking for as much if you lose at the trial as they would in San Francisco.

Similarities, San Francisco and Sonoma would be asking usually for 2 days on the sheriff’s work program for a lot of DUI cases. Actually, San Francisco sometimes, we can negotiate that down to 0. It’s tough to do that in Sonoma County but it can be done, depending on the case.

Sonoma County Asks for the Highest Fines

Sonoma County is different from the other two counties, San Francisco and Marin, on the fine. They’re asking usually for about, it comes out to about five or $600 more on a fine. Those are your big differences.

You May Face a More Sympathetic Jury in San Francisco

Looking at jurors and the types of jurors we would get in a jury panel, I would say that San Francisco, because it is San Francisco, you have the best chance of getting a juror who has a bit of a wildcard. The juror might be more sympathetic or helpful to a client than you might find in Marin on Santa Rosa. That’s just hard to predict. They’re all tough counties. Any time you go to a jury trial on a drunk driving case, the odds are against you.

It May be Difficult to Prevail in a DUI Trial but It Is Always Advisable to Fight the Charge

But you always have a chance to win. Sometimes that chance is just looking for a fumble. Sometimes it’s based on beliefs that all the elements of the offenses that you’re charged with cannot be met or one of the elements of each charge cannot be met.

By Aaron Bortel

Aaron Bortel

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