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House Arrest

Penal Code 1203.016 PC - House Arrest in California

Sometimes, under California law, a judge can sentence a defendant to home confinement rather than serving time in the county jail or state prisons, which have many names, such as house arrest or home detention.

This provision is codified in California Penal Code 1203.016 PC. House arrest is an option for misdemeanors and felonies but usually applies to nonviolent offenders serving time for minor crimes. 

Penal Code 1203.016 PC - House Arrest in California
House arrest is an alternative jail sentence where you are confined to your residence.

Suppose a judge allows you to serve part or all of your sentence through home confinement. In that case, the time you do at home counts as jail time under Penal Code 2900.5(f) PC.

The Los Angeles criminal courts often seek ways to ease jail overcrowding while controlling illegal activity. Some alternative jail sentencing options include electronic monitoring or home confinement.

While electronic monitoring programs exist, not all defendants are eligible for house arrest as an alternative to jail time. There are rules to determine eligibility for home confinement.

First, the judge will impose conditions requiring you to remain inside your home for specific portions of the day. This is typically regulated by an electronic monitoring device restricting your freedom to a specific location.

Electronic monitoring is part of a “house arrest,” which involves an ankle bracelet worn to verify your location. Other electronically monitored programs are used as a condition of probation or parole. 

Electronic monitoring uses Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring with satellite technology to track movements and is primarily used to confirm compliance with the terms and conditions of probation. 

The Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM device) is another form of electronic monitoring primarily used for cases of driving under the influence.  

What is House Arrest?

House arrest is a type of jail alternative sentencing that requires the defendant to stay confined to their residence for a specified period. They are allowed to leave their home for the following reasons:

  • Work,
  • School,
  • Medical appointments,
  • Mandatory counseling or classes, or
  • Other mandatory appointments, such as community service. 

House arrest is similar to probation, but you are mostly restricted to your home. Suppose you violate the terms of your house arrest. In that case, you could be arrested without a warrant and imprisoned to complete your sentence.

House arrest has several benefits. Most importantly, it keeps you from serving time in jail. It also allows you to keep going to work to support your family.

Suppose you follow the terms and conditions set by the court. In that case, the days you spend in home confinement will count as jail time until your sentence is completed.

What Are the Conditions of House Arrest?

Suppose the court grants your request to serve your sentence via house arrest. In that case, you will be required to follow conditions, which will depend on the details of your case. The common conditions include the following: 

  • Remain at your home, except for work, school, etc.
  • Submit electronic monitoring, such as a GPS ankle bracelet.
  • Submit to drug or alcohol monitoring using a SCRAM device, drug patches, random drug testing, etc.
  • Agree to follow a curfew.
  • Perform community service.  
  • Attend mandated counseling.
  • Periodic visits with a parole office, including unannounced home visits.

Who Qualifies for House Arrest?

Your attorney usually requests house arrest.  They must convince the judge that you meet the eligibility requirements and are a good candidate. You might be considered for house arrest under the following conditions:

  • You are a low-risk and nonviolent offender.
  • Your sentence was county jail time, not state prison.
  • You live in the county where the crime occurred.
  • You can easily be contacted by phone. 
  • You pay for the home confinement program.
  • You agree to the terms of home confinement.

Suppose you were sentenced to county jail time rather than state prison. In that case, you are much better at getting approved for home detention. Violent offenders or those with multiple crimes will be denied.

Suppose you are mentally or physically impaired. In that case, you might be eligible for house arrest if your condition would make it unreasonably difficult to serve your sentence in jail. Sometimes, the judge might place you on house arrest as part of a parole agreement to release you from prison. 

What If You Violate the Terms of House Arrest?

The tools used to enforce house arrest send a signal to the electronic monitoring agency. For example, suppose you travel beyond the approved distance. In that case, it will trigger a violation and automatically record a signal interruption.

Violate the Terms of House Arrest

The monitoring agency will notify your probation or parole officer, and you might be arrested for violating the program's terms. This means the judge might decide to revoke your home arrest and sentence you to serve the rest of it.

Suppose you violate the conditions of your house arrest by removing the monitor for failing a drug test. In that case, you could face similar consequences for a probation violation.

When you appear before the judge, they could forgive the violation if there is a reasonable explanation. They could also modify the terms of your house arrest by placing stronger restrictions on you, or they could revoke your house arrest and send you to jail to complete your sentence.

If you were accused of a crime, you might be eligible for home confinement rather than jail time. We know all the alternative sentencing options to avoid jail, but we must first review your case details to determine the best strategy.

You can contact our law firm for a case review by phone or through the contact form.  Eisner Gorin LLP is based in Los Angeles, California. 

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