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Are you a good candidate for “house arrest?”

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you certainly want to do everything possible to get the charges dropped or be found not guilty, if the case goes to trial. If you’re past that and in the sentencing phase looking at potential incarceration, can you avoid being locked up?

If the offense is a non-violent one (for example, DUI), you may be able to serve your sentence without having to spend time in prison. Maryland, like other states, offers an electronic monitoring option. It’s sometimes known as “house arrest,” even though people are often allowed to leave their homes to fulfill community service or other court-ordered obligations. Sometimes, people are allowed to go to school or work as well. Electronic monitoring (which usually involves wearing an “ankle bracelet,” can also be an option for people who are awaiting trial or sentencing instead of having to sit in jail.

You need to understand and abide by the rules

Before you seek this alternative, make sure you know what will be required of you. If you’re not sure you can adhere to the rules, it may be best not to advocate for it. Violating the conditions of electronic monitoring comes with legal consequences – typically starting with the incarceration you were trying to avoid.

For example, not drinking is often a requirement. Some types of electronic monitors can detect the presence of alcohol in perspiration. If you’re not sure you can refrain from drinking for the duration of your monitoring, it’s likely not a good option for you.

If there are limits placed on where you can – and can’t – go, you need to be prepared to abide by those. These monitors can track the wearer’s location via GPS. If there’s a restraining order in place, those staffing the monitoring program can be notified if someone breaches the perimeter of that order. Of course, trying to remove or tamper with a device is a sure way to get it removed by authorities and be sent to jail.

If you have experienced legal guidance, you can determine whether electronic monitoring is an option and advocate for it. With this guidance, however, you can learn more about how it works and better decide whether it’s right for you.