House arrest = jail time?

I had asked a question about a bail reduction hearing and who could be there.

I really wish i knew the law better but

At the bail reduction hearing the judge said she was not comfortable with reducing the bail nor with letting the defendant out on bail. So she dropped the bail to zero and the defendant is getting out on house arrest which she says is the same as being in jail.

How is being out on house arrest the same as being in jail? Legally that is, because obviously anybody would prefer house arrest to sitting in a cell. Why not bail AND house arrest?

For one, she’s not free to come and go as she pleases as she would be on bail.

The judge might mean that time on house arrest will count towards time served on a jail sentence.

Yep, it’s nice if you can get it. I had a client do over six months of house arrest before trial and when he got his one year sentence, didn’t have to much time in the real jail. (you don’t, as I recall, get “good time” credit.)

This was at a bail hearing not a sentencing.

The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. Bail, pre trial confinement and monitor home confinement are all for the same reason, to ensure the defendant will not flee and will be present at trial.

Bail is not a punishment. Pre-trial confinement is not a punishment. Neither is home confinement. The judge takes all factors into consideration and determines what is the best course of action to ensure compliance while protecting the defendant’s rights.

yes, but time spent in custody before trial, whether in jail or at home, can count against your eventual sentence if you’re ultimately convicted.

Also, in addition to “enure the defendant will not flee and will be present at trial,” restrictions are often placed on the accused for the protection of the community (even though he or she is presumed to have done nothing wrong). Conditions such as “no drinking,” or “stay away from minors” are not unusual.

Being locked up may not be a “punishment” (har har) but it may still be punishing.

There was a case that made it to the Supreme Court a while back (mid 1980’s or so) in which a person who wasn’t thus being punished complained of cruel and unusual treatment. The Supremes, in their infinite wisdom which transcends the ken of mortal men, determined that inasmuch as pre-trial confinement in not punishment, it cannot be cruel and/or unusual punishment.

Hence, even the worst abuse that any Joe Arpaio or Joe Arpaio wannabee can throw at his non-punishees is permissible, as long as, you know, they aren’t being punished.

Now, to be sure, IIRC, the case was profoundly stupid from the get-go. The guy’s complaint was that he wasn’t allowed to watch TV while he languished in pre-trial non-punishment. I don’t recall how the chain of decisions went as it made its way up the courts, but finally the Supreme Court chose to take this silly case. Why in the world would they have done that anyway? My take was, the prevailing sentiment on the court (this was in the Rehnquist days) was like, here is a perfect case for us to further trash prisoners’ rights. So as frivolous as the case was, they took it just to have the opportunity to make the decision that they did.

The primary reason for house arrest is to save taxpayer money. Prisons and jails are extremely expensive (the common saying is that it’s more expensive than sending someone to college) so the person under house arrest still has to pay for his own rent, food, doctor appts, and any stuff he buys from eBay.

House arrest really isn’t much different from being an isolated shut-in, except you have to wear a big clumsy ankle bracelet and you need permission to visit any place besides the grocery store or the doctor.

OK, so when the bail was set back to zero that means there is no bail? So he can’t be bailed out?

Also, his bail had been $500,000.
His family said they had to come up with $100,000 to bail him out, not $50,000. Is that up to the bail bondsmen? I know around here you will see them advertise for as little as 3%, BUT usually the defendant has to pay 1&/month until the full 10% has been paid.

Also one last question (today anyway)
Please bear with me, I am friends with the victims family and she is not being kept up to date nor are things being explained to her as this goes on.

His preliminary hearing date is set for later, however he was indicted a few days ago. The victim wasn’t told about it, nor was she asked to be there. We are assuming they had enough evidence that she wasn’t needed? We thought the preliminary hearing was when a defendant would be indicted? Could it just have been a scheduling change? Are these two separate events?
FWIW, I am finding stuff out before she is just by going out online and looking it up for her. I know the prosecution is busy but it would really be nice if they could keep victims updated on what is going on and explain the process to them.

Maybe a comparative example will work, let’s take a 2254 motion and the same for 2255;

28 U.S. Code § 2254 - State custody; remedies in Federal courts

(a) The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States.

“In Custody” does not necessarily mean in jail/prison. A person on house arrest and or maybe supervised released is “in custody”.

Unsure of what you mean. It seems from what you said he was placed on home confinement. Generally you can’t get bailed out of home confinement. Its one or the other.

People get confused when you say no bail. It could either mean confinement with no possibility of being bailed out or a ROR warrant (release on own recognizance) in which they get release without putting up any money.

I’m assuming that the rules governing bail bondsman change from state to state. Here some bail is set at 10% cash. The court will take 10% cash in lieu of the full amount. Many times bail is set with no 10% allowed. But a bondsman can still make a deal for less and put up a bond for the full amount. The deal between the defendant and the bondsman is set in a contract. They do have to be licensed and follow the rules set by the state.

An indictment is generally handed down by a grand jury. All that is needed for an indictment is for the jury to find probable cause. The prosecution does not have to present its entire case. They generally do that while calling the minimum of witnesses. Often its just the investigating officer. Many times they don’t need to bring in the victim for it.

Preliminary hearings are different. Often they are used to deal with defense motions such as suppression of the evidence and other pre-trial issues. The court likes to get as much of that out of the way as they can before a jury trial. All of that is stuff a jury can’t hear. Most of that is legal procedural stuff that the victim is not needed for.

But I agree that the victim should be much better informed about the process and how it is proceeding. My county has an Office of Victim’s Advocacy for just such issues. The prosecutor himself is often too busy to lead all the victims he deals with through the process. So they set up an office that can do that. Look into it and see if there is something similar there.

Well except for the part where you are living with family and you can watch TV, you can eat when and what you want, you can close the bathroom door and sleep in your own bed, you don’t have to wait in line to use the phone and you have internet access, you can wear your own clothes.

Sure. But as was stated we are talking about a presumed innocent person. This is not a punishment. Since you mentioned $500,000 bail I would assume we are talking about a serious charge with the possibility of a long sentence. The home confinement is to ensure his court appearance. They don’t throw $1 million on every body. Nor do they put a bracelet on everybody. The judge determines the minimum amount needed to get him to show up for court. If the guy made bail there would be even fewer constraints on him.

In PA, it’s not; at least as far as “credit for times served” goes.

In PA, it depends.

Most of my experience is with people who are accused of DUI-related offenses, but the court will often allow the defendant to go to rehab or house arrest if the court believes the defendant will benefit from rehabilitation; the time spent in rehab and/or house arrest counts against any necessary jail time after conviction and sentencing. Because rehab/house arrest is generally part of the pre-trial process, the court uses the defendant’s participation in therapeutic activities (e.g., meetings, etc.) in its final determination.

While on house arrest, the defendant is on a strict schedule. He can go to work, to specific AA/NA meetings, and is allowed a certain amount of time to run errands and do laundry. There may be additional restrictions depending on the nature of the offense, as well; some defendants have geographical restrictions to ensure that they’re not visiting their old haunts, and their bracelets have GPS units to facilitate tracking. If the defendant has been compliant, no problem. If he goes where he’s not supposed to be, he goes back to jail, or at least has to have an uncomfortable conversation with his probation officer.

Thanks for all the answers.

It clarifies that from the courts perspective of the defendant showing up house arrest is the same as being in jail.

It’s good to know that the ankle bracelets have GPS tracking.

We’re more concerned about the victim feeling/being safe than what happens to the defendant.

I’ve only known one person who had an ankle bracelet and I didn’t know him well enough to ask for any details. I’ve known a few people on house arrest who didn’t have ankle bracelets and they had to be home at certain hours in case somebody called or came by to check on them.