What is House Arrest? 

 October 23, 2014

By  LMW Attorneys

Did you know that the famous Renaissance man Galileo was confined to home arrest following a trial all the way back in the 1660s? While house arrest wouldn’t become popular until the invention of electronic monitoring devices, the alternative sentencing dates back hundreds of years—but what exactly is house arrest and how does it work?

What Does House Arrest Entail?

House arrest, also known as home arrest, house detention or home confinement, is a term of alternative sentencing in which someone carries out their jail sentence from their home or other approved living quarters. Typically this includes the grounds of their residence or other surrounding portion of the residence unless specified otherwise. This is null however if a residence is inside an apartment complex and has shared common areas such as the pool, laundry room, or other recreational areas. Individuals on house arrest may not have to spend all 24 hours a day in their residence and many may be allowed to leave for work, community service, or other approved activity and could have a set a curfew.

How is House Arrest Enforced?

While Galileo didn’t wear an electronic monitoring device, individuals on house arrest do wear them now. An individual typically will wear an ankle monitor which tracks their location and the time they are at these locations. This ankle monitor cannot be tampered with or the individual will face serious consequences. The individuals will also have frequent contact with an officer which usually includes in-person meetings. These meetings will look at an individual’s progress, their daily log of activities, and a drug test will be performed as well.

Who Can Qualify for House Arrest?

There are a myriad of factors that can influence whether or not someone may be a candidate for house arrest, but ultimately the judge will be left to decide the appropriate sentencing. If a judge thinks that a jail sentence punishment is too severe for the crime, but parole is too lenient, house arrest is a frequent option. Commonly, individuals are only approved for house arrest if they are considered low-risk offenders—meaning they are unlikely to disobey the rules of their confinement. This is typically determined by a judge’s concern with an individual’s background, such as their previous offenses or if they have a family to support, for example. An individual facing trial can request house arrest if they believe they are likely to be granted the alternative sentencing.

No matter what the situation entails, if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact the legal professionals at LMW Attorneys today. The experienced team will discuss your options with you and can determine if house arrest is a viable alternative sentencing. Contact LMW Attorneys today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.