If you have been arrested and convicted of a criminal offense in California and your sentence requires you to serve a term of incarceration you may be interested to know if you qualify for house arrest. Only an experienced California criminal defense attorney can evaluate your unique situation; however, some general information about house arrest in California may help you better understand the program and give you a better idea if you might qualify.
Supervised home confinement, commonly referred to as house arrest, is in alternative sentencing option. It is important to understand that if you are given house arrest, you are still legally serving a sentence of incarceration. Furthermore, house arrest is not an option that a judge will offer you as a general rule. Instead, you will need a criminal defense attorney who can request house arrest as a sentencing option or who can negotiate house arrest into a plea agreement.
Although the decision to grant a defendant house arrest is made on a case-by-case basis, there are some factors that might make it more likely that you would be eligible for house arrest, including:
- The severity of the crime for which you are convicted. Less serious crimes and nonviolent offenses are much more likely to garner alternative sentencing.
- A lack of criminal history on your part. If you do have any previous convictions, they should not be for violent or serious offenses.
- No prohibition from the sentencing judge. In some cases a judge will specifically prohibit alternative sentencing. As long as the judge, or your plea agreements, do not prohibit house arrest you could potentially be eligible.
- Technical requirements. You will need to have a suitable residence and a compatible telephone in the residence.
The terms, conditions, and technical method of confinement can vary when a defendant is placed on house arrest; however, the basic concept remains the same. When you are on house arrest you are confined to your home except to leave for Court ordered reasons such as work, school, medical appointments, or court appearances.
As part of the house arrest program you will likely be fitted with some sort of electronic monitoring device. This is typically an ankle bracelet or a Global Positioning System, or GPS. If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense your monitoring device may also test for the presence of alcohol in your system. If you are convicted of an alcohol-related offense your monitoring device may also test for the presence of alcohol in your system. As a participant in a house arrest program you will be responsible for the costs of monitoring.
If you believe that you may qualify for a house arrest program consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
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