The option of serving time under house arrest or “Program of Intensive Supervision” (NRS 176A.440) is something most people never consider until they suddenly find themselves confronted by a possible jail sentence. If you are facing charges of misdemeanor DUI or any other non-felony crime, a competent Las Vegas criminal defense attorney could help you trade a period of incarceration for residential confinement (house arrest) instead.
The Basics of House Arrest in Las Vegas, NV
House arrest in Las Vegas allows a defendant to serve time at home instead of in jail. Although some judges are reluctant to grant it, a lawyer skilled in criminal defense can often change their minds.
To qualify for house arrest in Las Vegas, you must:
- Have a permanent living address and operational landline telephone.
- Be guilty of nothing greater than a misdemeanor.
- Agree to pay a $100 administrative charge and a $12-a-day fee for monitoring.
- Obtain a judge’s referral.
Your attorney will also have to make the case that you are a non-violent, cooperative individual who does not pose a flight risk.
House Arrest Before Trial
If the charges against you are sufficiently serious, the judge may hesitate to leave you at liberty while you’re awaiting trial, even when you have already posted bail. House arrest will allow you a modicum of freedom while ensuring that when your trial date does arrive, you will arrive along with it.
House Arrest After Conviction
If the courts should find you guilty of a crime for which the penalty includes incarceration, the judge may choose to sentence you to house arrest, jail or a little of both. If your criminal defense attorney successfully argues for the home confinement option, you will enter the Intensive Supervision Program under the watchful eye of Nevada’s Department of Public Safety.
The Length of Your Sentence
One day on house arrest will normally equate to one day of incarceration, particularly in cases where the home confinement constitutes a portion of the jail sentence. Nevertheless, that is not always the case. For example, those convicted of driving with a revoked license can trade a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail for 60 days, or double the length of time, on house arrest.
Your Electronic Monitoring Device
While on house arrest, you will wear a waterproof ankle bracelet that tracks your location in real time. As you travel about your business, the police will utilize the GPS-based Omnilink surveillance system to monitor your every move.
The bracelet that lets them do this possesses an almost uncanny intelligence. In addition to sounding the alarm if you break curfew or stray outside permitted areas, it will instantly inform law enforcement of any attempts you might make to remove or disable it.
If your crime involved DUI, the courts may also equip you with a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor. Rather than track your location, this SCRAM device will detect and inform law enforcement of any alcoholic beverage consumption on your part.
The Rules of House Arrest
The specific terms of any individual house arrest will vary according to both the judge’s discretion and the severity of the infraction itself. Nevertheless, most such sentences do permit you to leave the house. In your particular case, the judge may allow you to:
- Attend school.
- Go to work.
- Make and keep medical appointments.
- Meet with your lawyers.
- Tend to family obligations outside the home.
You may also leave to attend court-ordered drug testing and counseling sessions or perform mandated community service.
That, however, is where it ends. When you are under house arrest, you can only travel to and from locations approved by the court and programmed into your electronic bracelet. If you diverge from that course or make any stops along the way, your monitoring device will immediately transmit the breach to law enforcement, and the next person you meet will likely be dressed in blue and wearing a badge.
Breaking the House Arrest Rules
Once you’ve broken the rules of your residential confinement, you might find yourself arrested, booked and brought back to court to explain your bad behavior. Infractions that result from an emergency or bracelet malfunction will not count against you. If, however, you lack a good explanation for your actions, you might soon find yourself forced to trade your cozy home for a jail cell.
Weiner Law Group Can Help
There is no doubt that for most people facing jail time, house arrest poses a far more palatable alternative. In order to obtain it, however, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential. If you find yourself facing incarceration for misdemeanor DUI or any other non-felony charge, the criminal defense attorneys at Weiner Law Group may be able to help you swap a jail sentence for residential confinement. Call Weiner Law Group today at 702-202-0500, or fill out our contact form for a consultation to discuss your alternatives and learn what we can do to help you.