In some cases community service may be an option to help resolve a criminal case. The idea behind this type of disposition is that you perform volunteer work for a charity or non-profit and you are given credit for this work as a form of punishment in your case. The great thing about this type of outcome is that it helps the community by getting free labor and it also helps the person by having a feeling of “giving back”, which is what everyone should do in their daily lives.
Matthew has been able to negotiate cases using community service hours as a form of “currency “ with the Court and Prosecutors. If Matt asks you to perform community service it means he believes it will result in a favorable outcome in your case, either in the form of a reduction of charges or a tool that can be used to the dismissal of charges in a criminal case.
Understand that there are two types of community service. The first is Court Ordered Community Service which is ordered by a Judge as a condition to probation or other Court imposed sentence. This type of service is very formal and often supervised and monitored by either a probation officer or “Volunteer Center” which is overseen by the Court or Judicial System.
The second type of community service is informal and not ordered by the Court but used as a way to convince the prosecutor or District Attorney that you deserve a favorable disposition because you are doing it on your own without compulsion. This type of service is not overseen by anyone and requires extra effort on your part to document your volunteer work. For this type of Community Service follow the following guidelines to get the proper documentation of your hours so that it can be presented in your Case:
- Find a suitable charitable organization that will qualify as acceptable community service such as a nationally recognized non-profit (SPCA, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, etc.).
- Make sure ahead of time that whoever you choose to work for can document your hours in the form of a letter, on official letterhead using the following format: The day of the week you worked; The number of hours you worked on that given day; The total number of hours you worked (1 day equals 8 hours); Lastly, the letter needs to be signed by someone in apparent authority with a contact number in case the hours need to be verified.
Once you have the letter you can send it to the attorney via email or fax.