Criminal procedure

court-ordered community service

In a state court criminal prosecution, the judge may order a defendant to perform court-ordered community service—often in conjunction with an alternative sentence such as probation, pretrial diversion, or deferred adjudication.

Similarly, in the federal courts, community service is not a sentence, but a special condition of probation or supervised release. The probation officer’s presentence report—which the court relies on in choosing a fair sentence—may recommend that the court require community service. The court usually requires that the offender complete a specified number of hours of community service (usually from 100 to 500) within a given time frame (usually not to exceed one year).

Court-ordered community service may be related to the underlying criminal offense. For example, a defendant charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) may be ordered to complete court-ordered community service by volunteering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) or giving speeches to young adults on the dangers of drinking and driving.

State Statutes for the State of Texas

Federal Statutes