Los Angeles DUI and Home Detention
For certain defendants who have been convicted of driving under the influence, a jail sentence may be unavoidable. The California legislature has implemented mandatory jail sentences for repeat DUI offenders and many judges and prosecutors believe that defendants should be forced to spend time in custody where there are other aggravating factors. However, for many DUI defendants facing jail time on a DUI offense, there may be alternatives such as home detention that would allow a defendant to stay out of jail.
Under California Penal Code Section 1203.016 PC, any county is permitted to authorize a program under which minimum security inmates and low-risk offenders would be allowed to serve their sentence on home detention in lieu of confinement in the county jail. California Penal Code Section 2900.5(f) PC allows defendants to receive credit for time served on home confinement for any mandatory minimum jail sentence. There are serious issues of overcrowding in many local county jails and many jail administrators are more willing to allow certain defendants to serve sentences on home confinement. In many cases, DUI offenders are considered to be the type of minimum security inmates who would be suitable for home detention.
Electronic home detention is usually offered through private companies that report any violations to the authorities. The defendant would be responsible for covering the costs of home confinement, and these costs can be very expensive. Home detention programs may differ depending on the provider, however they will usually involve monitoring that can include periodic telephone checks or visits, wearing a GPS enabled bracelet or anklet as well as other methods of making sure the defendant complies with the home monitoring requirements. For certain DUI defendants, home monitoring may also require that the individual refrain from consuming alcohol. These defendants may be required to provide periodic breath samples to ensure they are not drinking while on home detention or they may have a wearable device that monitors the skin for any alcohol excretions.
Home detention sentences do not necessarily require the defendant to remain confined to his or her home for 24 hours a day. Defendants may be permitted to leave the house eight hours a day (or more) for work. Those on home confinement are also usually allowed a few hours a week to take care of shopping and other necessary errands.
Because of overcrowding, many county jails are opting to place defendants on house arrest where they have been convicted of a DUI offense and where they do not have an extensive prior criminal record. In the past, the sentencing court could order home confinement. The law has changed and now the sentencing court can only restrict or deny a defendant’s eligibility for a home detention program. The ultimate decision regarding house arrest now lies with the county sheriff or jail administrator. However, a recommendation for home confinement from the sentencing judge will be given a great deal of deference.
Due to overcrowding, many counties have embraced using home confinement as an alternative to jail. Counties such as Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside have all allowed home confinement under certain circumstances. However, these counties tend to require longer confinement terms for those convicted of DUI offenses.
While on home confinement, a defendant would be expected to abide by all other conditions of probation imposed by the sentencing judge. This would include attending the required drug and alcohol education program and appearing at any and all mandatory court dates. The fact that a person is on home confinement would not excuse a failure to comply with probation or to appear for court. The home confinement provider will work with the defendant to ensure that there are no issues.
If you have been arrested for a driving under the influence offense, it is crucial that you go over your case with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who fights hard on behalf of his clients who have been charged with DUI. Mr. Kraut is highly knowledgeable about the DUI process and can help DUI defendants explore sentencing alternatives such as home confinement.
For more information about DUI and home detention, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.