If you run into trouble with the law and face the prospect of jail time, you may be wondering if you’re eligible for house arrest. Would you be eligible to spend the duration of your jail time at your home under house arrest, or are you going to have to head to the county jail if convicted? We take a closer look at how house arrest is handled in Minnesota.
Can I Do House Arrest Instead Of Jail?
House arrest, also known as electronic home monitoring, may be an option for individuals convicted of certain low-level, non-violent crimes. Crimes like driving while intoxicated, drug possession or theft may all have electronic home monitoring as an option, but it will depend on the county where the crime occurred, and it will have to be approved by the judge overseeing the case. Sometimes these low-level offenses come with no jail sentence, a suspended sentence or the flexibility to serve your time non-consecutively, like on the weekend, but if a jail sentence is likely, your lawyer may be able to push for a sentence that includes house arrest.
Despite what it may seem like from the outside, house arrest is not a walk in the park. You may assume that you’ll just be able to kick your feet up and watch Netflix, but house arrest is not as simple as that. The biggest surprise to most people is the cost. Again, costs will vary by county, but in Hennepin County, the program will run you $16 a day. If you have been sentenced to 60 days of house arrest, you’ll need to pay $960 over the course of those 60 days in order to be eligible for the program. Monitoring costs money, and you’ll have to help cover those costs by paying each week.
There’s also costs if you want to keep working. Most people like the idea of being able to continue working and bringing in a paycheck, especially since the program will cost around $16 a day. If you want to be allowed into the work-release program, there are additional fees for this. Oftentimes this runs about $20 a day, but it’s typically worth it to keep your job and keep money coming in since house arrest isn’t free.
Finally, costs aside, you’ll also have some commitments to maintain while on house arrest. Individuals in the program typically meet with their case manager every week to ensure they are meeting the requirements of their confinement and to pay for the fees associated with their equipment. You’ll also need to take care of any requirements or obligations during the limited free time that you have. Individuals on house arrest typically only have a couple of hours each week to fulfill other obligations, so if you need to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, see your doctor or get groceries for the week, you need to take care of it during this limited free time. Failure to meet other requirements put forth during sentencing can lead to program failure and transfer to a county jail for the remainder of your sentence.
House arrest may be an option, but we’ll do everything in our power to avoid jail time or have your sentence deferred so long as you keep out of trouble during a probationary period. For more information, or for help with a different criminal issue, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.