House arrest is a court-ordered, officer-supervised penalty that is sentenced to certain offenders in lieu of jail time. When sentenced to such penalty, a person must remain within the set boundaries of their home at all times, but may be given limited travel privileges for work, school, or doctor’s appointments. Both adults and minors can be sentenced to house arrest, and they are all put on temporary probation during the duration of the sentence. Probation can include routine meetings with a probation officer, random drug screenings, community service, therapy, counseling, victim impact panels, educational drug courses, and more.
Although the name seems pretty clear, there is much more to a house arrest sentence than just home confinement. If you or someone you love is facing house arrest, it is helpful to get some answers to some common questions in order to put your mind at ease and clear up any confusion you had about the terms and conditions of house arrest. Continue reading to review the most frequently asked questions about home confinement to do just that!
What are the General Rules of House Arrest?
Every person’s case is different, and subject to varying regulations. However, the general rules of house arrest include no drugs or alcohol in the residence, no drug or alcohol consumption, a probation officer can come by the home at any time to check for drugs or alcohol or to perform a random drug test, adherence to a set curfew, and all orders of probation (i.e. community service, rehabilitation, etc.).
How are You Monitored?
A person on house arrest wears an electronic sensoring device on their ankle at all times. This device is coupled with another that is connected to a person’s home phone. The device will record the dates and times of all traveling within and outside of the set boundaries. If any of these records show that a person traveled outside of their boundaries during a time that was not permitted, the probation officer is notified and the person is violated. Tampering with the device will also be recorded and considered a violation.
What Happens if You Violate its Terms?
If someone breaks any of the rules of their sentence, they are subject to being ordered to a probation violation hearing in court. This means you not only face the previous charges, but now face additional ones as well. Sometimes, a probation officer will give a warning the first time, but it is important to understand that the terms are taken very seriously and one minor infraction will be penalized.
Do You Need a Lawyer if You Violate?
In most cases, yes. The penalties for such violations are taken very seriously, and the penalties a person faces for them are very harsh as well. Your criminal defense lawyer already knows your case and will defend you once again to minimize the penalties you face for violating. They are your only hope at avoiding the maximum charges for a violation.