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Are There Alternatives to Going to Jail? 

Watkins Law Firm LLC Sept. 19, 2022

Man in Prison Behind Steel CageNavigating the criminal justice system can be confusing and frustrating. The thought of spending time in jail may be overwhelming. It’s important to know that you might not have to spend time in jail after a conviction. There are other options for those who are eligible. 

Don’t resign yourself to spending time behind bars before finding out if alternative sentencing is possible. By working with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can seek a different outcome.  

At my firm, Watkins Law Firm LLC, I put your future first. You won’t have to worry about being passed off to a junior attorney. I’ll take the time to understand your case and help build the best legal strategy to protect your future. With over 20 years of experience defending my clients’ rights, I know the ins and outs of Colorado law. Watkins Law Firm LLC proudly serves clients in Boulder, Colorado, as well as Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, and Broomfield. 

Alternative Sentencing 

Not every conviction leads to jail time. It’s possible to seek alternative sentencing so that you can avoid spending time behind bars and avoid having jail time on your permanent record. There are several different types of alternative sentencing available in Boulder County and beyond. 

Diversion Programs 

Diversion programs divert offenders away from the jail system. Instead, you would participate in an established program.  

One diversion program available in Boulder County is the Work Release program, where inmates are allowed to leave the jail or treatment center to go to work but must report back to satisfy the jail sentence. For this program, you must be sentenced to a minimum of 30 days, have no history of psychotic disorders, have a verifiable and acceptable job with between 30-50 hours a week, and must meet other requirements, such as paying $20 a day to stay in the jail or treatment center. 

Another diversion program is the Community Corrections program where offenders spend time in a Halfway House instead of spending time in jail. Individuals eligible for Community Corrections are either being diverted from prison or being transitioned from prison back to the community. 

House Arrest 

House arrest is another possible alternative to jail. In Boulder County, house arrest is known as home detention. To be eligible for home detention, you must be over 18 years of age, reside in Boulder County, and have no serious criminal convictions. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to find out whether you are eligible for home detention.  

Under home detention, you are allowed to leave your home for work, court-ordered treatment, breath and drug testing, medical appointments, and educational purposes. 

Community Service 

One common alternative sentencing option is community service. There are many different work sites in Boulder County that serve as locations where you can perform community service.  

However, you must be eligible for the program to complete community service. Also, you must meet with a case manager before performing any community service hours and pay a fee to enter the program. 


It may be possible for you to receive a probation sentence instead of jail time. To fulfill your probation sentence, you will need to satisfy all of the probation program’s requirements. That may include paying fees, submitting to testing, and attending treatment or counseling. Speak with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney to learn more about whether you are eligible for probation. 

Let Watkins Law Firm LLC Help You 

Depending on your conviction, you may be eligible for probation, community service, diversion programs, or house arrest instead of spending time in jail. Work with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney to make sure you get the best sentencing for your future.  

I am a passionate advocate of my clients’ rights, and I will do everything I can to secure the best alternative sentencing for you. I have over 20 years of experience in Colorado law, and I will help you through each step of your case. My firm, Watkins Law Firm LLC, represents clients in Boulder, Colorado, as well as Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, and Broomfield. Contact my firm today to schedule a free consultation.