If I’m sentenced to jail, do I have to go right away?

Sometimes defendants are allowed to report to jail, but that's unusual.

Question

If I’m sentenced to jail, do I have to go right away?

Answer

Defendants who are out on bail when they are sentenced to jail are sometimes hauled off immediately. Other times, the judge may agree to “stay” (delay) the start of the sentence for at least a few days, to allow the defendant to handle personal matters. Defense attorneys are usually well acquainted with the stay policies of local judges. On rare occasions, judges allow defendants to remain at liberty while they appeal their cases.

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