The criminal justice system, as we see it today, has evolved tremendously. From the days when people were confined in shabby jails to now when many state judicial systems offer defendants the option of pre-trial home confinement, a lot has changed. If you are thinking about how to start a bail bond business, you must also be aware of house arrest or electronic home monitoring (EHM). Wondering what it is and how is it different from conventional bail? Here you go!
What Is Pre-Trial Home Confinement?
Pre-trial home confinement is a legal arrangement that permits individuals awaiting trial to reside at their primary residence under strict supervision. Typically, this arrangement is for non-violent offenders and those deemed low-flight risks. It serves as an alternative to pre-trial detention in jail.
Eligibility for pre-trial home confinement varies by jurisdiction; however, common factors include the nature of the alleged crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and the likelihood of the defendant appearing for trial. Courts consider these factors when determining whether an individual is suitable for home confinement.
The Process of Pre-Trial Home Confinement
- Initial Assessment: The process begins with an initial assessment by the court. During this assessment, the judge evaluates the defendant’s background, the severity of the charges, and any potential risks to the community. If deemed eligible, the defendant is granted pre-trial home confinement.
- Electronic Monitoring: One hallmark of pre-trial home confinement is electronic monitoring. Defendants are often required to wear ankle bracelets equipped with GPS tracking, which allows authorities to monitor their movements in real-time. This technology helps ensure compliance with confinement orders.
Conditions of Confinement
While at home, defendants must adhere to strict conditions set by the court. These conditions may include curfews, drug testing, and prohibitions on contact with certain individuals, especially victims or witnesses in the case.
Benefits of Pre-Trial Home Confinement
- Maintaining Employment: One of the primary advantages is that defendants can continue working, thereby supporting themselves and their families.
- Reduced Jail Overcrowding: By reducing the number of individuals held in pre-trial detention, home confinement eases jail overcrowding issues.
- Presumption of Innocence: Home confinement upholds the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ as defendants can maintain their daily lives while awaiting trial.
Disadvantages of home confinement
- For one, pre-trial home confinement offers defendants less freedom than traditional pre-trial release on bail. When individuals get out on bail, they don’t have to wear a GPS tracking anklet and have the freedom to participate in any activities outside their home while waiting for the court hearing.
- Ankle monitors are heavy and uncomfortable, but the stigma associated with these GPS monitors is daunting. People are scared of individuals wearing ankle monitors, or they might treat the defendant harshly as they stereotype someone with an ankle monitor as a criminal.
This was everything you need to know about pre-trial confinement. Yes, attorneys play a major role in compelling judges to grant EHM, but if you also need to do your part for society without getting into the intricacies of law or becoming an attorney, you can always choose to become a bail agent. Thinking about how to become a bail bondsman in NC? Contact the professionals at Amistad Bail Bond and Associates today!