Being convicted or charged with a crime doesn’t always equate to spending some time behind bars. There’s quite an effective alternative to that, and it involves electronic tracking of the arrestee’s movement and location by using ankle monitors.

Often referred to as home detention or home confinement, the use of house arrest is on the rise, and it offers benefits beyond arrestees being able to keep on participating in the society. It’s a way to avoid being sentenced to incarceration, and an alternative to incarcerating criminal defendants waiting for trial, not to mention how house arrest can also help arrestees get a shorter sentence. In this article, we’ll be looking at how home detention works, when it’s used, who is eligible for it, and what happens in case of house arrest term violation.

How does home detention work?

An alternative to prison time, home detention involves staying confined to a certain location while following certain rules and restrictions. Those who’ve been accused or convicted of committing a crime are fitted with an ankle monitoring device. This device is used to control movement of the arrestee and track their location at any given moment.

There are certain activities and locations that they are allowed to leave for. These are pre-approved and can include everything from going to school, work, and doctor’s appointments to attending lawyer meetings and court appearances.

What are some of the restrictions regarding home detention?

While it is possible for a person on house arrest to leave their home for certain activities that are outlined in their Home Detention Agreement, there are particular restrictions that they need to follow in order to avoid violation of house arrest terms. One of them involves reporting to a probation officer that has been assigned to them.

According to experts from Global protective services, these security officers are there to make sure that the arrestee complies and meets all their sentence requirements. These officers may also make surprise visits to the arrestees for a check-in. The arrestee is also expected to abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol and submit to drug testing whenever that is requested of them. They also have an evening curfew to follow, and they must not commit any additional crimes. Some of them may also be required to perform community service as a way of serving their sentence.

When is home detention used?

In cases where the person needs to be confined, home detention is a more preferable option compared to jail or prison. However, in order for a convicted individual to get home detention, there are certain factors that determine whether they are eligible for this form of confinement.

Generally speaking, low-risk criminals, non-violent offenders, and first-time offenders are more likely to get house arrest. It’s also vital that the defendant has a landline phone so that the authorities can easily access them at any time. During the bail hearing or sentencing when home detention is typically requested, the judge may also take into account other factors such as employment history, family support that the person has at home, as well as history of violence and whether this is their first or repeat offense. That said, requirements for home detention do vary depending on the state where the defendant has been charged or convicted.

What happens if terms of home detention are violated?

Failing to follow the terms of house arrest that are outlined in the Home Detention Agreement comes with a high risk of needing to show up to court for a hearing. However, in some cases, the arrestee may just be let off with a warning. The form of punishment that the convicted individual receives largely depends on whether the violation was a misdemeanor or a major offense.

For example, if the arrestee has made a minor violation of home detention terms, they may simply get additional limitations on where they can go. In some cases, making adjustments to curfew will be recommended as a punishment for a minor breach. The probation officer who’s in charge of monitoring the arrestee is the one who will recommend an appropriate punishment. In instances where there’s a severe breach of terms, the arrestee may face jail time where they’ll be expected to serve the remainder of their sentence.

Wrapping up

Home detention can be a more preferable way to serve a sentence while still being able to participate in the community. While this option does have its advantages, it’s important that the arrestees understand what they are getting into, especially when it comes to house arrest term violation and additional consequences that come with it. If you would like to get home detention and you qualify for it, talk to a criminal defense attorney. Depending on your particular circumstances, they can help you get less restrictive conditions once you’re released.