House arrest, officially titled, "Community Control," is a more restrictive form of probation authorized by Florida Statutes Section 948.10. If you're looking at jail time, the Judge has discretion to sentence you to house arrest instead, but only in the following three instances:
1. you are already on probation and violated it with either a technical violation or by committing a new misdemeanor;
2. you are already on parole and violated it with either a technical violation or by committing a new misdemeanor; or
3. you were convicted of a felony, but your criminal history is such, or the nature of your offense is such, that you would not be placed on regular probation.
There are pros and cons to being placed on house arrest. The downside is that it is very restrictive. Your community control officer typically has a lighter case-load than a regular probation officer. This allows her to spend more time breathing down your neck. She will monitor you 24/7. You will only be permitted to leave your home with permission from the Judge or your community control officer and then only under a few circumstances; i.e., to go to court, work, school, your doctor or lawyer, or to buy groceries. Even then, you'll be required to provide your officer with a written itinerary and contact her before you leave the house and again upon your return. You will almost always be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor and submit to random drug and alcohol testing. Even the smallest violation can land you in jail. The upside is pretty good, though. You get to stay out of jail, and after some time has passed, you and your community control officer will be able to petition the court to convert your house arrest to regular probation.
If you think you are a candidate for house arrest rather than incarceration, or if you aren't sure, contact my office today at 954-463-4646 or drop me an email at [email protected] I can help.