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County Jail for Felony DUI

I was stunned yesterday when I received a call from a client who had just been released from a six month county jail sentence. The reason for my surprise was that she had surrendered for her sentence the previous day.

The six month jail sentence was as a result of a negotiated disposition in Los Angeles Superior Court, CCB, for a felony DUI. The client had no prior convictions and came from a middle class, law abiding family. The case was made a felony because of an accident resulting in physical injury to a third party. The injury resulted in surgery and the removal of over a foot of lower intestines from the victim. The DA had filed a great bodily injury enhancement and had fought strenuously for at least 18 months of state prison time.

I was aware of the overcrowding problem in Los Angeles County Jail and I had been reliably informed that my client was probably going to be released after serving ten percent of her jail time. I was both very surprised and very happy that she was released after just one night in jail.

No conclusions can be drawn from this account as anyone serving jail time is entirely at the mercy of the Sherriffs department in terms of early release. Nobody can expect to be released so quickly. If State Prison time had been ordered per the insistence of the DA, the client would have served two thirds of this time.