Understanding House Arrest in Florida

It is not uncommon to hear stories of celebrities, such as Martha Stewart and Paris Hilton, that have been placed on house arrest. For many people, these stories are the extent of their knowledge on house arrest. A person has been convicted of a crime and instead of going to jail, they are forced to remain in their home. House arrest, known as community control in Florida, entails much more than this, though. Below is an explanation of community control in the Sunshine State, and what you can expect if a judge sentences you to it.

How Does Community Control Work?

After being arrested for a criminal offense, you will appear before a judge and it will be determined if you are eligible for bail. Many people think that at this point, only a bondsman can help, but an Orlando criminal defense lawyer can have your bail reduced or even replaced with community control.

Community control does require you to stay at your place of residence as an alternative to going to jail or prison. A person may be eligible for community control for a number of reasons. If you have health conditions that make prison an unsuitable place for you, a lawyer can argue for community control instead. Or, if you have been charged with a minor crime, such as marijuana possession that involves a very small amount, community control may also be appropriate.

The process of being sentenced to community control is relatively simple, but it is still largely misunderstood. It is a common misconception that people placed under house arrest can never leave their home, but that is not true. You may be able to leave to go to school or work. In these cases, you will also be granted a small amount of time to get to and from these places. If other factors are part of your sentence, such as community service, you can also leave your home for these approved activities.

Are Ankle Bracelets Required for House Arrest?

One of the most pervasive images surrounding house arrest is the ankle bracelet people are expected to wear. Florida does still use ankle bracelets and if you are placed under community control, you will have to wear one. Tampering with it or trying to remove it comes with serious penalties. Ankle bracelets are not intended to restrict movement. They are only intended to track an individual and ensure that when under house arrest, they are only moving for approved activities and nothing outside of those.

Call Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Being charged with a crime is scary but even if you are convicted, you deserve a sentence that is appropriate for the charges. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers are passionate about ensuring that everyone in the criminal justice system is treated fairly, and we will work hard for you, too. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.


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