House Arrest & How To Request It

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What is House Arrest?

House arrest involves being confined to your primary residence rather than going to prison or juvenile detention.  Seen as a more affordable alternative to traditional imprisonment, especially for less dangerous offenders, house arrest allows offenders to earn income, maintain family and other relationships, and attend necessary probation appointments and rehabilitation treatment.  Home confinement can also involve curfews, where offenders must be home by a certain hour, and when they are not permitted to go out in the dark. 

How House Arrest Works

In many house arrest cases, an ankle bracelet is used to monitor the offender’s movements.  This electronic monitoring device is often maintained and monitored by a third-party provider who can detect if the offender has unlawfully tried to leave the property or remove the device itself.  In some instances, the offender is responsible for the expenses associated with the electronic monitoring device.  This can be another advantage of home imprisonment.  Not only does the state save on the costs of incarceration, but it may also not have many expenses associated with house arrest itself. 

House arrest does not necessarily confine the offender to their home for 24 hours every day, 7 days a week.  In some cases, offenders may be permitted to go to work and/or school, attend religious services, and go to medical appointments.  Home confinement can be more restraining than this, of course, depending on the specifics of the confinement and the infraction.  House arrest is also not considered to be “letting an offender off easy.”  House arrest is intended to be confining, and is a legitimate form of punishment.  It is designed to keep the non-violent offender from committing the crime again. 

How to Request House Arrest

You can request house arrest, and are likely to get it, if you meet particular criteria.  These include but are not limited to:

  • You do not have a long history of offenses.  If this is your first offense you are more likely to be considered for house arrest.
  • You are not a violent offender.  The crime you have committed is not likely to cause imminent harm to others.
  • You are a juvenile offender under the supervision of your parents.
  • You have a good, steady history of employment.
  • Jail time seems too harsh for the crime you have committed, and parole is too lenient.

Getting Help

If you meet these and other related criteria, ask your lawyer or public defender to request this form of punishment during your court hearing. Your lawyer may be able to help you make a convincing argument to the judge about why house arrest is the best punishment for you.

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