How Is Jail Time Calculated?

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If you happen to be facing jail time, you might wonder how long you will actually have to serve before you’re released back into society. Jail time depends on the type of crime you’re accused of, and the timeframe during which you must serve it can differ. What do you need to know about how jail time is calculated?

Get a quick crash course in sentencing and serve times with this brief guide: 

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

One of the most hotly debated topics in Canadian law is the mandatory minimum sentences that have been enacted since 1995. Judges are not able to take the crime and situation into account and, therefore, cannot issue shorter sentences based on the individual. Jail time starts with the absolute minimum that they can sentence and can reach ever higher. 

For example, a second-offence DUI has a 30-day jail time in addition to a licence suspension. For continued offences, each one will come with a 120-day jail time. 

Of course, there are other crimes that have much longer mandatory minimums, such as armed robbery with a firearm (4 years), attempted murder (5 to 7 years), and kidnapping (4 to 5 years). 

Drug offences are also one of the categories that have mandatory minimum sentences, though these charges depend on the volume of drugs that you’re in possession of and where you’re located. The minimum mandatory sentences range from 1 year for possession in prison to 3 years for having more than 3 kilograms, being near a school, or near children. 

When you receive jail time for any of the above offences, you must serve it continuously. The only way that judges are able to reduce sentences is by giving you credit for time served before your trial. Depending on how long it takes for you to go to trial, this time can really add up. 

Intermittent Sentence

You may receive an intermittent sentence depending on your age and character. If it was only a minor crime, this is the type of sentence you might expect to receive. 

For those who are convicted of a crime and sentenced to 90 days or less, your sentence can be served intermittently. This means that you don’t have to serve the entire sentence at one time and can instead work it into your schedule when it’s convenient. For example, you may be able to serve your sentence on the weekends and return to your home and work during the week. 

Getting Legal Help

While you may be subject to the minimum sentence for your crime, you want to ensure that you don’t have to serve time above and beyond that number. You need the top lawyer for youth in Winnipeg to help you stand in front of the judge and make your case. Brodsky Amy & Gould are here to help you with an upcoming trial so that you can receive the best results and get back to living your life!