Penal Code 1203.016 PC - House Arrest in California
Under California law, judges can allow defendants to remain confined at their homes rather than serving time in the county or state prisons, called a “house arrest, “defined under Penal Code 1203.016 PC.
This option usually is available only for nonviolent offenders serving time for minor crimes. However, suppose a judge allows you to do time through home confinement. In that case, under Penal Code 2900.5(f) PC, it still counts as jail time.
Another related jail alternative sentencing option is electronic monitoring for home confinement which is regulated by a device that restricts your freedom to a specific location.
Electronic monitoring is often required for house arrest, involving an ankle bracelet to verify your location. Other electronically monitored programs are used as a condition of probation or parole. These methods are designed to ease jail overcrowding in Los Angeles County jails.
Electronic monitoring uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring with satellite technology to track your movements. It's designed to confirm compliance with the terms of probation. The Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM) is another type of electronic monitoring used in DUI cases.
Not all defendants are eligible for electronic monitoring programs, as there are rules to determine eligibility for home confinement. Let's review this law in more detail below.
House Arrest - Explained
Simply put, house arrest is a type of alternative sentencing that requires you to stay confined in your home for a length of time, but you would be allowed to leave for work, school, or other necessary appointments.
Suppose you violate the terms of house arrest. In that case, you could be arrested without a warrant and imprisoned to serve your sentence.
There are some clear benefits to house arrest. First, you don't have to serve time in jail, and you can continue working to support your family.
Other benefits have the freedom to move around your home with family, but distance restrictions exist. In addition, if you follow the terms set by the judge, the time you spend at the house counts as jail time to complete your sentence.
What Are the Qualifications for House Arrest?
House arrest has to be requested by your attorney. They must persuade the judge that you meet the eligibility requirements to serve jail time at home. The common factors that a judge will review include the following:
- Nonviolent and low-risk offender;
- County jail time sentence;
- Live in the same county where the crime occurred;
- Easy access by phone;
- If they can pay for the program and agree to the terms.
Suppose you suffer from a physical or mental condition that would make it challenging to serve time in jail. In that case, you may be eligible for house arrest.
The chances of getting house arrest are much better when you are sentenced to county jail time rather than state prison. It is not available for anyone convicted of serious or violent crimes.
What Are the Terms of House Arrest?
Suppose the court decides to grant the request for house arrest. In that case, you will be required to follow specific terms and conditions, which will vary depending on the details of your case. Some of the most common terms include the following:
- Remain at your home, except for work, school, etc.;
- Must submit to electronic monitoring, such as an ankle bracelet;
- Must submit to drug testing, such as random drug tests;
- Must submit to alcohol monitoring, such as a SCRAM device;
- Perform community service hours;
- Attend mandatory counseling or classes;
- Must agree to a curfew;
- Periodic meetings with a probation officer.
Sometimes, a judge might place you on house arrest as part of a parole agreement to release you from state prison.
The terms would be similar to traditional parole, and you must agree to electronic monitoring. If you violate the terms, you will be sent back to prison for the remainder of your sentence.
What If You Violate the Terms of Your House Arrest?
The equipment that is used to enforce your arrest can send a signal to the electronic monitoring agency. Suppose you go past the approved distance from the equipment.
In that case, the equipment automatically triggers a violation and records a signal interruption, and the monitoring agency will notify your probation or parole officer.
Now, you might be arrested for violating the terms and conditions of the program. Then, when you go before the judge, they could order you to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail.
Violating the terms is similar to a probation violation. At the hearing, the judge could order any of the following:
- If you have a reasonable explanation, they could excuse the violation;
- They could place stricter terms on your house arrest program;
- They can revoke your house arrest and send you to jail.
Suppose you have been accused of a crime. In that case, you might be eligible for home confinement rather than serving time in a county jail.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are familiar with all the alternative sentencing options to avoid going to jail but need to review the case details. You can contact our law firm for a free case evaluation by phone or through the contact form. Cron, Israels & Stark is located in Los Angeles, CA.