House arrest is used as an alternative to being physically confined to jail. When you are sentenced to house arrest, you are confined to your residence and may be allowed limited travel. House arrest can be ordered for juveniles or adults on probation.
House arrest is ordered with a strict set of rules. These rules can include:
- Allowing the probation officer to call your home randomly to ensure that you are present
- Allowing the probation officer to check your home to ensure no drugs or alcohol are present
- Adhering to a strict curfew
- Submitting to drug and alcohol testing
- Participating in community service, counseling or other rehabilitative services
What Happens If I Violate House Arrest?
When you violate house arrest, your probation officer has the discretion to give you a warning or order you in to court for a probation violation hearing. The probation officer will usually ask that you are made to face additional penalties that may include incarceration. There are no set penalties for violating house arrest; the outcome depends on the facts of your case and the circumstances under which house arrest was violated.
Can I Leave My Home?
Yes. Usually you will be able to leave your home for specific purposes which will be outlined in your Home Detention Agreement. This Agreement is a contract made by you and your probation officer outlining the stipulations of your house arrest.
Persons on house arrest are usually allowed to leave the home for school, work, church, counseling and court ordered appearances and similar court ordered activities.
How Do Authorities Know That I Am At Home?
Home confinement is monitored using an electronic sensor strapped to your ankle or leg. A field monitoring device is then attached to your home telephone. This device emits a continuous signal and communicates with the sensor on your ankle and the Department of Corrections or similar department. The signal is interrupted when you go beyond the allowed radius of the receiver.
When the signal is interrupted, the electronic sensor records the date and time and again records this information when the signal resumes. If a signal interruption occurs during a period when you should be at home, the violation is checked by the parole officer and you could be subject to arrest.
The monitoring equipment may also be able to tell your probation officer where you are without your knowing. The officer may be able to tell if you are at school or work when you should be. The equipment may also detect if you tried to tamper with the device.
Do I Need An Attorney If I Violated House Arrest?
The penalties for violating house arrest may be quite harsh and have lasting consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney in your state will know how best to present your case to the court at your hearing, ensuring the best outcome for you.