A former constable candidate will spend six months behind bars and more than a year on probation after admitting to impersonating a constable and ticketing motorists earlier this year.

Doug Roberts was arrested in July 2016 for writing tickets to several motorists while holding himself out to be a deputy Mobile County Constable. Roberts had registered to run for a constable position but had not been elected at the time of his arrest.

He was accused of writing parking tickets, despite not having the authority to do so, and then having motorists direct their payments to post office box associated with his business.

Roberts was scheduled for trial March 19, but instead, he entered a guilty plea to five counts each of impersonating a peace officer and possession of a forged instrument.

On Tuesday, Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter sentenced Roberts to 10 years in prison, though he ordered that sentence to be split to just two years — only six months of which Roberts will spend in jail.

The other 18 months of his two-year sentence, Roberts will be in a front-end diversion program as part of Mobile County’s Community Corrections program. 

Douglas Roberts pleaded guilty to charges of impersonating a peace officer and possessing foraged instruments March 19. (MCSO)

Billed as a more intensive form of probation, those sentenced to front-end diversion in Mobile County are technically considered inmates and any violation could result in an escape charge. It also includes weekly check-ins to the Community Corrections Center and random drug tests.

Participants are also not allowed to travel outside of the state of Alabama for any reason and are required to pay supervisory fees and to cover the cost of their own drug testing.

The plea deal he struck would typically revoke his right to appeal his conviction or sentence, but his attorney, Christine Hernandez, preserved some issues for an appeal.