Work Crew as an Alternative to Jail
If a person is charged with a DUI or Physical Control in king county district court and has the benefit of getting the charge reduced to a lesser offense (for example, Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving First Degree), the prosecutor might want the individual to perform anywhere from 1 to 10 days (or more) of work crew through the King County Community Work Program (CWP). This is an alternative to jail. In addition, a person may do work crew to assist in paying off their financial obligation (fines/costs/assessments associated with a conviction). A person convicted for DUI or Physical Control cannot do work crew in lieu of jail as the sentencing statute requires the person to be confined in jail- or in some cases- house arrest.
How to set up work crew when ordered by the court
Once a person is sentenced by a judge, they are ordered to contact the program coordinator within 7 calendar dates of the court order or attend an in-person work crew orientation which are held every Tuesday at 9am in Seattle Courthouse or Thursday at 10am and the Burien District Court. Obviously, it is easier to get it set up via phone. The person will then be assigned dates.
Work crew is from 7:30am-3:30pm Monday through Saturday. People who are working (and provide proof via a pay check will be allowed to do work crew on Saturdays. Those who are not working are required to work 4 days a week until the sentence is complete.
People need to report to the CWP show located in downtown Seattle on 4th Avenue under the Yesler Street Overpass which is 2 blocks south of the King County Courthouse. They need to be there right at 7:30am as if they are late they may not get to be able to work that day. Absences need to be excused by the program coordinator and should be done well before the scheduled date.
What to expect for the day
A person doing work crew will be working outside all day. And the program is year round. The person should dress appropriately. Rain gear and gloves are provided by the coordinator. People need to wear appropriate shoes, long pants and are not allowed to wear tank tops. And yes, a person on work crew will be wearing one of those unmistakable orange vests. Typically, people will be sweeping sidewalks and picking up trash in public areas.
People are also required to bring their own lunch. No use of personal electronics except for when on break.
Why work crew is a better option
It goes without saying that most people would rather be outside working for 8 hours (minus breaks) in lieu of sitting inside a county or city jail. And for those with limited financial means, work crew is a great way of paying off one's financial obligations (at roughly $150 per day). It is important to remember that work crew is really only an option for people who get their DUI reduced. While I prefer to have clients perform community service instead of work crew, many prosecutors insist that since a person received the benefit of a reduction, they must perform work crew.
For a person accused of a DUI, worrying about work crew should be far down on their list. But it is important to immediately reach out to an experienced DUI defense attorney to guide you through the legal maze. I offer a free initial consultation to anyone arrested for DUI and can be reached directly at 425-284-2000.