What is Split Confinement?

By Jedidiah McKeehan

If you are charged with a crime, and you are considering pleading guilty, one of the big questions that you will want answered is how you will have to serve your sentence.

Your sentence is your period of punishment for the crime you have committed. The options available are either probation or jail. If you have to serve more than a year in jail, they send you to prison. But we will call them both “jail” for this column.

Usually, your sentence will be either probation or jail. Very rarely we will see someone get a sentence that includes both of these options. That type of sentence is called split confinement.

That means that you would serve a portion of your sentence in jail, and then be released to serve the rest of your sentence on probation.

Specifically, Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-306 states, “A defendant receiving probation may be required to serve a portion of the sentence in continuous confinement for up to one year in the local jail or workhouse, with probation for a period of time up to and including the statutory maximum time for the class of the conviction offense.”

So for example, if you are pleading guilty to something that carries an 8-year sentence, part of the agreement may be a split confinement sentence where you serve 1 year in jail and then do the remaining 7 years on probation.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties. He works in many areas, including family law, criminal, and personal injury. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.