House arrest is an alternative to confinement in a county jail or California state prison. The court may impose house arrest before a trial or even sentencing. However, not every defendant is eligible for house arrest. California Penal Code § 1203.016 authorizes home detention as a form of punishment for violations of California law.

A correctional administrator typically prescribes the rules of home detention. This representative of the state has the sole discretionary authority to permit program participation as an alternative to physical custody.

To qualify, you must be facing time in a county jail not a California prison. You must be a nonviolent offender and agree to the terms of house arrest with the ability to pay the daily fees associated with house arrest. Here are some other basic facts about house arrest.

*Limited freedom of movement

Participants are typically restricted to staying in the house or on the property unless they have prior approval to leave. Participants must remain within the interior premises of their residences during the hours designated by the correctional administrator. With approval, a participant may attend work school, medical appointments, and activities related to the original criminal charges like community service or a drug or alcohol treatment program.

*Abstinence from drug and alcohol use

A participant must refrain from using alcohol and controlled substances. This is often the case if the participant is charged with or convicted of violating the following California statutes:

*Electronic monitoring

The participant must agree to the use of electronic monitoring to verify compliance with the rules and regulations of the house arrest program. This monitoring may include Global Positioning System (GPS) devices or other supervising devices. These electronic monitoring devices may not be used to eavesdrop or record any conversation, except a conversation between the participant and his or her court supervisor. This recording may only be used for voice identification.

*Unlimited access of court personnel

The participant shall admit any person or agent designated by the correctional administrator into the participant’s residence at any time for purposes of verifying the participant’s compliance with the conditions of the detention.

*Agreement to be immediately retaken into custody for rules violations

The participant must agree that the appropriate correctional administrator may, without further order of the court, immediately retake the participant into custody to serve the balance of the person’s sentence for the following reasons:

  • if the electronic monitoring or supervising devices are unable for any reason to properly perform their function at the designated place of house arrest,
  • if the participant fails to remain within the place of home detention as agreed, or
  • if the participant for any other reason no longer meets the established criteria

John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. The advice, guidance, and representation of experienced criminal defense counsel may be crucial to achieving the best possible result in any criminal matter. John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.

Some Basics Of House Arrest

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