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Cedar Rapids OWI (DUI) and Criminal Defense Lawyer: What is 'community service' in a criminal case?

by David A. Cmelik Law PLC

Community service is unpaid work ordered by a judge as part of a criminal penalty pursuant to Iowa Code § 907.3.


The Iowa Code states that:


“The court may establish as a condition of probation that the defendant perform unpaid community service for a time not to exceed the maximum period of confinement for the offense of which the defendant is convicted. If this condition is established, the defendant in cooperation with the probation officer assigned to the defendant and in cooperation with the judicial district department of correctional services, shall promptly prepare a plan to implement the community service condition. The plan shall include but shall not be limited to the suggested placement of the defendant and the suggested number of hours of services to be required.”


Some defendants hope to obtain community service as an alternative to jail time. If a case carries mandatory jail time—like all drunk driving prosecutions—there is no way to convert the jail time into community service. Likewise, if a criminal code section requires a mandatory prison time, there is no way short of dismissing the prosecution to convert a mandatory prison sentence into community service.


If you or a loved one has been arrested for OWI (DUI) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Anamosa, Vinton, Waterloo, or anywhere else in Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton, Black Hawk, or other Iowa counties, please contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC, 319-389-1889,, for a free ½ hour initial consultation today. Remember that a blog is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established by reading a blog or sending unsolicited information to an attorney over the Internet.   

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Debt to Society ​Where probation is allowable, the court may, but is not required to, impose a community service requirement as well.  Community service is not intended, however, to replace jail and prison sentences, especially mandatory minimum sentences that cannot be replaced by community service. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, or other Iowa community, contact contact us today for an initial consultation.


Community Service


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