House Arrest Laws: What You Need to Know About the Rules


Driving while intoxicated charges sometimes result in jail time for the offender. In an effort to alleviate overcrowding in jails, some individuals may be sentenced to home detention or house arrest instead. This allows the accused to work and become a productive member of society, while also being forced to pay for his actions.

How House Arrest Works

Individuals who are placed under house arrest will be given a strict schedule to adhere to. This schedule will primarily be based upon their normal work hours. In addition, offenders may be allowed a certain amount of time for attending worship services or going to medical appointments.

A probation officer will be assigned to that person’s case in order to keep close tabs on his comings and goings. One way of doing this is by calling a land line phone at certain hours in order to make sure that individual answers. Officers can also make random visits at a defendant’s residence or place of work. Some jurisdictions require people on house arrest to wear electronic monitoring devices that transmit a signal to police officers detailing their whereabouts.

Who is Eligible for House Arrest?

Not all DWI offenders are eligible to serve their sentences via house arrest. After a second or subsequent arrest, judges may be leery about sentencing an individual to home detention out of fear he might violate the terms.

A few instances where house arrest might be considered include:

  • First-time DWI offenders
  • Those with little or no prior criminal history
  • People who have already served a good portion of their jail sentence

Individuals who have been charged with an additional crime such as vehicular manslaughter are usually not eligible for home detention. Those who have ties to gangs, a lengthy criminal history or prior house arrest for a DWI could also be sentenced to time behind bars rather than house arrest.

House Arrest is Very Serious

One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking that home detention is not serious. It is indeed serious, and it could result in severe sanctions for those who violate its terms. Anyone caught tampering with an electronic monitoring device could also face judicial punishment. The amount of time spent on house arrest is usually much longer than a typical jail sentence. This helps compensate for the advantages one has of remaining in his own home and sleeping in his own bed.

Those who would like to know more about how house arrest works can contact Houston attorney Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

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