Bruce Kaye Criminal Defense Attorney Dallas, TX, Personal Injury, Entertainment Law

Community Service:
What You Should Know

In a court of law, a judge can issue various sentences for a conviction, including jail time, probation and fines. On some occasions, the court may order community service as an alternative sentence. Here’s a look at what that means and how it works.

What Is Community Service?

When sentenced to community service, a convicted individual must complete a prescribed number of unpaid hours by a specific date. This volunteer work can include service that’s related or unrelated to the offense. Judges will often order community service hours in addition to fines or jail time.

When Is It Used?

Community service can be mandated for both nonviolent and violent offenses, and it’s often used as an alternative punishment for juvenile offenders. In some cases, community service is ordered as a form of restorative justice — an approach that aims to rehabilitate lawbreakers by encouraging them to make amends to victims and the community as a whole.

Finding Service Opportunities

Community service hours are usually completed at a nonprofit or government agency, and the court or an assigned probation officer typically needs to approve the volunteer location. The court may have a pre-approved list of organizations, or the sentencing may mandate a particular type of volunteering. Websites such as also list court-ordered volunteer opportunities around the country.

Related Responsibilities

It’s often left up to the convicted individual to find and schedule community service work that complies with the order, get it approved by the court or a parole officer and complete it within the required time frame. Those concerned with finishing the service on time may be able to request an extension through the court.

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Our paramount mission is to do everything possible to keep the government from imprisoning you. Nothing is more important than your liberty.

My experience in Federal District Court includes white-collar crime (wire fraud, mortgage fraud, insurance fraud…) and healthcare offenses in which extensive documentation is used against the defendant. It is typical to receive many terabytes  of evidence which takes pain staking vigilance to review and use effectively in your defense. Unlike state court offenses, federal court judges have wide discretion when it comes to punishment so you must be able to demonstrate an alternative version of the facts using these same documents. Recently, in the largest synthetic cannabinoids (K2 / Spice) trial in the nation, my client was the sole defendant to walk away with a misdemeanor when originally charged with a felony.

In State Court, experience matters.  In fact, based on my prior experience, I have even been  appointed as a Special Prosecutor in Dallas County, Texas on a murder retrial. I work to obtain the best results possible. Sometimes, that means obtaining the best plea bargain offer to keep charges off of my client’s record. Other times it means a full on trial utilizing the latest technology to enforce your visual story.

For over 25 years, I have helped defendants charged with almost every known offense including murder, sexual assault (adults and children), robbery, family violence, animal cruelty, possession and/or intent to manufacture or distribute controlled substances, and many, many more.

An appeal is based solely on the Clerk’s records and the trial transcript. The Clerk’s record is made up of any and all documents your lawyer filed prior to and even during your trial. The Reporter’s record is word for word what was said at the time of the trial. These are the only documents that may be reviewed when seeking to appeal a lower court’s ruling. Any other complaint you want to make, such as ineffective counsel, is best achieved by the filing of a Writ. These are totally different documents. An Appeal challenges what happened before trial and during trial; whereas a Writ is used to complain about an ineffective attorney.

Over the past 25 years, I have written criminal appeals on just about every kind of offense and then some. From pre-trial issues regarding suppression, to full blown trials for aiding and abetting the Taliban, I feel like I have seen it all and written about it too. Experience matters. You need to find an attorney that can present your facts in a moving way biding the law and any errors in order to get the court of appeals to overrule the lower court’s determination.

Often, the worst punishment for being charged with an offense is the lingering criminal record that follows you every time you apply for a new home or job. However, there are ways to seal your past convictions from the public. The most common avenue is through an Order of Non-Disclosure, otherwise known as “record sealing.”
Historically, record sealing only applied to a limited number of crimes and did not include DWI convictions, one of the most common infractions. Fortunately for many, Texas recently changed state law to allow first-time DWI convictions to be sealed, providing they meet certain criteria. Beyond DWI convictions alone, there are, of course, other types of crimes which can be sealed from your record. A clean record gives you the opportunity to live in your chosen neighborhood, pursue your dream job, and enroll in college without worry. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing my clients go on to live successful lives.

Don’t Sign Anything Without Having an Entertainment Law Attorney Review it First!

Nothing can kill your career or business faster than signing a contract that you don’t fully understand, and let me tell you, 99 percent of people don’t fully understand what they are signing. How could you? These contracts are full of legal language drafted against your interests! The actual language is written that way on purpose so that you won’t question what it means – until it is too late for you to do anything about it.

Because I am a musician myself, I possess a special understanding of my entertainment law clients. We speak the same language. I’m not just a hired suit, but rather I am your advocate. I strive to make sure that every client fully understands every aspect of the contracts they are entering into so that there are no surprises down the road.

If you have been seriously injured in an automobile, trucking, or motorcycle accident, or if your family member has suffered a wrongful death, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering

The point of hiring a good personal injury attorney is to try to get the most compensation possible for serious injuries. The goal is to seek the most amount of compensation possible so you can return to the life you lived prior to the accident. Injury victims have been through something traumatic, and I will give their case my full time and attention.

When you’re injured, the first goal is healing. Unfortunately, receiving proper healthcare can be quite costly. Many injuries require hospitalization, as well as physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and counseling services for months or years to come. Furthermore, you may lose wages during your time off from work, and there’s always the possibility that you’ll never again be able to return to your previous position, putting you in a bind economically. Combat these issues and more by taking legal action.

If you’ve been the victim of someone else’s negligence and have suffered serious injuries, you have the right to seek justice, and I’m here to help you do so. Schedule a complimentary consultation with me today to learn what your next step should be.

When you're injured on the job and your company does not provide workers' compensation, there are other options available to you. For 25 years, I’ve been helping people just like you. People who are caught in the maze, the trap, the hamster wheel of trying to get help when you are injured at a workplace in Texas that does not cover your injuries under Texas Workman’s Compensation.

In order to prevail, you need a few things. First, your damages have to be serious. Your medical bills have to be pretty big. Your medical diagnosis has to be pretty bad. Finally, you must be able to show that the accident was caused by your employer’s negligence (something they did that caused the accident).

You see, when your employer chose not to get you coverage under the Texas Workman’s Compensation plan, he waived all of the defenses he has at trial (such as contributory negligence which is a fancy way of saying that if you played any role in causing the accident, the employer is only responsible for the damages his actions caused and not yours) except one:

If you are the sole cause of your accident, then the employer can walk away without paying you a cent (if the jury believes your employer). However, if the employer is responsible for your injuries due to their negligence (even just 1 percent negligence), then the jury cannot let them off the hook and they are responsible for 100 percent of your damages.


  • Tulane University '84-'85
  • University of Florida '85-'88
  • South Texas College of Law '89-'92


  • State of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • 5th Circuit Court of Appeals


  • Dallas Bar Association - Criminal Law Section
  • Texas State Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Texas State Bar - Litigation, Sports, and Entertainment Sections

The best thing about running my own practice is the opportunity to give my clients the individual attention they deserve. Relationships make all the difference. I never want my practice to feel like a case mill. This principle applies to every aspect of my firm. When I take on a new client, I get to know them and their families on a personal level. Often, clients come to me with one problem, but in the end, we solve many. That’s my goal. After we have established a rapport, I want to be the one you turn to any time you’re in need of counsel.

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