In the state of Virginia, some judges allow people convicted of misdemeanor crimes to serve jailtime between Friday and Sunday, a system known as weekend jail. The idea is that allowing people who are not violent or at risk to others to serve time on the weekends could help them remain employed and continue to support themselves and their family.
While for most people weekend jail is a preferable option to serving a continuous sentence, it’s important to understand that in Virginia, each jail has their own policies on weekend jail, and to be eligible a judge must grant you permission. That is why if you or a loved one has been accused of a misdemeanor in Virginia, it’s vital you contact an experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorney who can go to bat for you in court.
Weekend jail rules
In Virginia, most weekend jails require a person to report Friday night and be released Sunday night. Like any jail, there are strict rules. “Weekenders” are subject to drug and alcohol testing at random and those found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs are arrested and legal action can be taken against them. Certain fees may also apply to weekend jail programs.
Some of the things a judge will consider when deciding whether to grant you weekend jail time usually include:
- Is there a weekend jail program at the local jail and do they currently have space in their facility?
- Are you employed? And would weekend jail save you from losing your job?
- Are there any objections from the prosecutor or the officers who made the arrest?
It’s important to remember that judges make decisions about weekend jail time at their own discretion. Not having a long criminal record, meeting all of your court dates and being respectful throughout the criminal process is in your best interest. Also, it’s wise to hire a criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf in favor of weekend jail program.
The coronavirus affects
Most weekend jail programs have been suspended in order to maintain social distancing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and visitation rights have been suspended in most or all jails. Here is a link for updated information on Virginia detention facilities and the effects of Covid-19.
Contact a Virginia criminal defense lawyer
At the NoVa Law Firm, we have twenty years of experience in criminal law. We’ve represented thousands of clients from all over northern Virginia and have provided them with top quality, aggressive legal representation. If you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor in northern Virginia and want to do everything in your power to have the charges dismissed or reduced, give us a call today at (703) 352-9347 or contact us online to schedule a session with one of our lawyers.