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What is House Arrest?

From Martha Stewart to Dominique Straus-Kahn, there has been no shortage of high-profile people placed under house arrest for their crimes. House arrest is not just for the rich and famous, however. It is one way for people to serve a sentence while still working or attending school. In Florida, house arrest is also called community control.

How does house arrest work?

After an arrest, an offender will appear before a judge and bond will be declared. It’s a common misconception that only a bondsman can help you at this point, but in fact a Jacksonville bond reduction lawyer can work to have your bond reduced or even replaced with house arrest. House arrest is an alternative to prison for a variety of reasons, and is often implemented because an offender’s health may make prison life untenable or when a person is steadily employed and has committed only a minor offense. Additionally, through the Duval County Jail, a person may be able to opt for house arrest if sentenced to a term of less than 366 days. Whether someone qualifies is decided by the Corrections Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

On the surface, the process of being under house arrest is rather straightforward. Under Florida law, house arrest generally means that people are confined to their places of residence except for a short window of time before and after work or school, allowing for travel. People may also be allowed to leave their houses for other aspects of their sentences, such as community service or other approved activities. Whether or not an activity is approved is up to the discretion of one’s parole officer.

Do people under house arrest have to wear an ankle bracelet?

The most pervasive image of house arrest is that of a person shuffling around his or her home with a monitoring device around an ankle. The ankle bracelet is still in use in Florida. It allows for real-time tracking of the arrestee’s whereabouts. Permitted activities are factored into house arrest, however, so the ankle bracelet is not to prevent movement, only to monitor that any movement is to permitted places at permitted times.

Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Florida lawyer

When you are facing jail time, you need somebody who will make sure that you receive a sentence that is appropriate for you and the charges for which you have been convicted. At Robert Shafer & Associates, P.A. we work hard to ensure that our clients are treated justly. Our office has been serving Northern Florida since 1979.

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