The goal of the criminal justice system is multifaceted. The legal system wants to both hold someone accountable for their actions while simultaneously helping the offender move on from their mistake and avoid a similar act in the future. Obviously a person needs to take responsibility for their actions, but for low-level offenders, an extended jail sentence can lead to a number of other problems that could push them back towards a life of crime. For example, a person who is sentenced to jail could end up losing their job and facing financial hardship.
Because of this, Minnesota offers what’s known as “huber” for the right type of offender. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at what huber work release is and what it entails in Minnesota.
What Is Huber?
Huber is the legal term for a work release-style program that is offered in a variety of ways throughout the US. Minnesota also offers the huber program, but each county may handle the program a little differently. Essentially, huber allows a criminal offender to be released from jail during their normal working hours so that they can maintain employment and continue having an income. They are released from jail during specific work hours and then required to return to jail at the conclusion of their shift. The program can also be applied to individuals attending school at the time of their arrest.
For example, let’s say you were arrested for a second DWI offense within 10 years. The judge may impose a 60-day jail sentence with huber, meaning you’ll be required to spend 60 days in jail, but you can leave each morning to go to your job or to school as long as your return by a certain time at the end of the day without any alcohol or drugs in your system.
As we mentioned above, the specifications for the program vary based on the county in which you’re arrested. However, in general, the following rules will apply:
- You must work a minimum number of hours a week (usually at least 20-28).
- You must not work more than the maximum number of hours a week (usually around 60-70).
- You’ll be required to show a number of documents if you are an individual contractor or self-employed.
- You cannot work more than a certain number of days in a row (typically anywhere from 5-7).
- Your hours may be verified by a program director who contacts your employer or Registrar’s Office.
- You must have a valid driver’s license, as you’re not typically allowed to get a walk, bike or hitch a ride outside of public transport.
Also, it’s worth noting that the offender typically has to pay for this option. Most facilities charge between $10-$30 a day for an offender to participate in the huber program, but many people jump at this opportunity to be outside of jail, to maintain employment and to still bring home money.
Violating any terms of the huber program can lead to program suspension, revocation or harsher penalties associated with your original sentence.
If you’re facing a conviction and want to see if you can enter a huber program so that you can maintain your employment or finish the semester if you are sentenced to jail, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today. We can also help you try to beat the charges outright so that you can avoid jail altogether. For more information, reach out to Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.