Private Jail and DUI
County jail in DUI cases is mandated for second or third offenses. It is also sometimes ordered as a condition of probation for first offenses with aggravating facts. An accident with personal injuries, a high speed enhancement, a refusal to provide a chemical test or a high blood alcohol level can result in county jail.
One option available to defendants faced with county jail time is to negotiate a disposition that permits jail time to be served in a "private" jail. There are a number of jails in Los Angeles and Orange County that are run independently, outside of the county jail system. These jails are run by local police departments and offer facilities that are cleaner, safer and better run than county jail.
Additionally, local jails often offer flexibility in terms of allowing work/trustee programs which allow return home at night. Some local jails will also allow a work furlough arrangement whereby a person is allowed to go to work during the day and check into jail at night. Weekend jail is also an option. These options often allow defendants to keep their job intact.
Private jails are not free. They vary in terms of what they charge, but for those who can afford it, it is worth paying.
In Los Angeles there a private jails in Glendale, Pasadena, Seal Beach, Hawthorne, Palos Verdes and Hermosa Beach. In Orange County, there are private jails in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Santa Ana.
Some judges and prosecutors are reluctant to allow defendants "preferential treatment", but effective plea negotiations can often result in a dispostion that avoids the stress and fear associated with a pending county jail commitment.