Boston criminal defense attorney, Kevin J. Mahoney, explains “home confinement”
The possibility of jail time weighs heavily on the minds of my Boston criminal defense clients. A sentence of “home confinement” or “house arrest” offers an alternative to jail time.
Who is eligible?
House arrest is usually available, if at all, to those with minor, nonviolent crimes. Violent crimes are often punished by incarceration or committed time. Home confinement may be used for juveniles, who cannot be incarcerated with adults. In addition, home confinement is sometimes imposed upon release from prison. For example, Martha Stewart spent five months in house arrest after spending a year in prison.
How does it work?
People confined to house arrest wear an ankle monitor, an electronic device that transmits a GPS signal. The signal is linked to a central computer. If the signal is interrupted by the offender going beyond the confinement zone, the computer records the date and time of the signal’s disappearance. When an offender breaches the terms of the house arrest by traveling outside the authorized zone, he is basically escaping from prison. As a result, he may be sent directly to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence. A judge will determine any other consequences of a breach of house arrest.
House arrest may or may not include yards or garages, depending on the arrangements made by the authorities. Offenders sentenced to home confinement may be allowed to leave home to work; attend counseling sessions, doctor appointments or school; and perform community service. During those times, the ankle monitor is temporarily disconnected or reprogrammed so the wearer can travel a certain distance without a violation.
If home confinement is an option in your case, it is one your Boston criminal defense attorney should pursue vigorously. House arrest will allow you to maintain a somewhat normal life, with access to your family and all the usual amenities of life that you may have taken for granted in the past (e.g., telephone, internet, television, etc.).
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