You face harsh penalties, including a lengthy jail or prison sentence, if you are convicted of a crime or plead guilty. However, you might be able to be placed on house arrest instead of being incarcerated as part of a plea agreement with the prosecutor or when the judge sentences you. Here’s what you need to know about when you may be eligible for house confinement and how being on house arrest works so you know whether this could be a good option for you.
When Are You Eligible for House Arrest?
House arrest is a form of probation. If you are placed on house arrest, you would be confined to your home during the length of your sentence instead of being ordered to serve your time in prison or jail. You would have to wear an electronic monitoring device on your ankle that would track where you are at all times.
In Mecklenburg County, house arrest is not a common punishment. It would be difficult to successfully get placed on house arrest unless you had the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.
You can only request house arrest if you have been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor or felony offense. You would be more likely to be granted house arrest instead of incarceration in these situations:
- You do not have a criminal history.
- You are not a violent offender.
- You are a juvenile and are under the supervision of a parent.
- You have a steady job.
- You financially support your family.
- You own your residence and have a landline.
How Does House Arrest Work?
There is no set time period for being placed on house arrest in North Carolina. The judge would set the length of your house arrest, and they would also establish conditions that you would have to follow. A probation officer would be assigned to your case, and they would monitor your compliance with the terms set by the judge.
Most people think of house arrest as being confined to their home at all times during the term of their confinement. However, this is not always the case. Depending on the seriousness of the crime you were convicted of committing and your criminal history, the judge could permit you to leave your home to go to work or school, treatment program meetings, doctor appointments, and religious services. You will have to comply with a curfew and need to stay at home at night.
What Are the Costs of House Arrest?
You would be required to pay fees associated with being placed on house arrest and would have to pay a one-time fee of approximately $90 and a daily fee ranging from $4 to $10 while on house arrest for the cost of the electronic monitoring. However, the judge can waive the requirement that you pay these fees if you file a motion and show a good reason why you cannot afford to pay them.
Can You Get Credit for Time Served?
No. Unlike when you are sentenced to jail or prison, you do not get good time credits that would reduce the time of your house arrest. You would have to serve the entire sentence set by the judge.
What Happens If You Violate the Terms of Your House Arrest?
If you fail to comply with the conditions of your house confinement, it would be considered a probation violation. Some of the consequences could include:
- You could be given a warning by your probation officer if the violation is not serious or this is your first violation of the terms of your house arrest.
- The term of your probation and house arrest could be increased.
- You could be required to follow other conditions in order to remain on probation.
- You could be found in contempt and ordered to serve up to 30 days in jail.
- Your probation and house arrest could be revoked, and you could be required to serve a jail or prison sentence.
In addition, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense if you remove or tamper with the ankle monitoring device. If convicted, you would face additional punishments.
Have you been charged with committing a crime in Mecklenburg County? Do you want to be considered for house arrest if you are convicted? Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can explain your options to you and mount a strong defense strategy so that you achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. To learn more about how we can assist you, call our Charlotte office or fill out our convenient contact form to schedule your free consultation today.