What Is the Law About House Arrest?

By Mona Johnson

Instead of being sent to prison, court officials can sentence a person to house arrest. Law and regulations prohibit a person from leaving his residence without prior permission from the judge, pre-trial release officer, probation officer or other proper authorities. Is some cases, regulation requires a law enforcement officer to live in the home with the person on house arrest. The laws vary by state and by the seriousness of the crime that was committed.

House Arrest

House arrest can be called electronic monitoring, home confinement or home detention. House arrest gives convicted felons or those defendants waiting trial the opportunity to maintain family relationships, seek employment and attend rehabilitation programs. Depending on the terms of the house arrest, some individuals may leave home for various reasons, with permission from proper authorities, while others may not leave the home for any reason.

Leaving The Premises

Any person who is allowed to leave his or her home while on house arrest must get written or oral permission from proper authorities. The law allows an individual to ask for permission to leave the home in cases of health reasons, to visit probation or parole officer, attend school or church and even visit gymnasiums to keep healthy.

Electronic Monitoring

Someone put on an electronic house arrest most often has an electronic sensor locked to the ankle known as an ankle bracelet. When a person under house arrest goes outside of an allotted distance, usually the perimeter of the home, the sensor will alert the company that monitors the activity of the electronic device. The company will then call the residence of the person on house arrest to verify if the machine had a malfunction, or if the person has actually left the premises without permission. If there is no malfunction, authorities and law enforcement will be notified immediately to apprehend the person under house arrest. It is illegal to remove the ankle bracelet, therefore ankle monitors can detect when a person tries to remove the bracelet.

Who Is Eligible For House Arrest

Laws require that only minor criminal cases be allowed a house arrest option. Some of the minor criminal cases include DUIs and drug possession. Someone with a more serious conviction or criminal accusation such as murder is not permitted to be assigned to house arrest. Authorities feel the more serious criminal charges need true rehabilitation that the comfort of the home will not provide, therefore jail time is presumed necessary.

Juveniles on House Arrest

Juveniles placed on house arrest have different rules. No juvenile on house arrest can have visitors who are not approved by the probation officer. The juvenile cannot have telephone communication with anyone other than his or her probation officer, parents or those persons approved by the parents and probation officer. A probation officer has the legal right to visit and check up on a juvenile at his or her school, home or job.

About the Author

Mona Johnson is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in communications. She began writing in 2001 and producing literary works in 2003 for T.A.D.D. Writes Publications. Johnson has experience with writing articles and blogs geared towards facts, keywords, fashion and other subjects.

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