Can I Get House Arrest Instead of Jail?


At Berry Law, our criminal defense attorneys typically help people facing charges that may result in potential jail time. Individuals facing these penalties are often worried about their best course of action or wondering about steps they could take to avoid serving time in jail if possible. Some of the most common alternatives to spending time in jail are probation, community service, and/or paying fines. While it is not always available, one of the more popular options is house arrest. Not everybody facing a criminal charge is eligible for house arrest, but if you do qualify, you can avoid missing work, continue going to school, and, most importantly, serve your sentence outside of jail.

What is House Arrest?

House arrest is a form of punishment that allows an individual who was sentenced to a jail term to spend the time at their place of residence instead of being physically present in jail. In essence, house arrest lets you serve your jail sentence at home. Nebraska Revised Statute 47-401 specifies:

“Any person sentenced to or confined in a city or county jail upon conviction for a misdemeanor, a felony, contempt, or nonpayment of any fine or forfeiture or as the result of a custodial sanction imposed in response to a parole or probation violation may be granted the privilege of serving all or part of the sentence under house arrest.”

Typically, individuals under house arrest will have to wear some sort of electronic monitoring device (commonly around the ankle) while serving. These devices allow law enforcement to ensure that you have not left your authorized location and are abiding by the terms set forth during your sentencing. Certain sentencing guidelines may leave you eligible to leave your house for work, school, or other common obligations.

What are the Requirements?

Many individuals facing the possibility of a jail term or prison sentence often ask us what is needed for them to qualify for house arrest. Unfortunately, there are not set rules that regulate when an individual is or is not eligible for house arrest. When dissecting Nebraska Revised Statute 47-401, you can look at five specific words, “may be granted the privilege.” Basically, the judge holds the ultimate ability to rule in favor of house arrest in lieu of completing your sentence in jail. Some things the judge may take into consideration when determining if house arrest is the best option include:

  • Type of Crime You Were Convicted of
  • Prior Criminal History
  • Community Engagement
  • Employment Status
  • Home Status (ex: single mother/father, children who rely on you)
  • History of Substance Abuse

Determining when you are likely to be granted the privilege of house arrest can be difficult. It is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the likelihood of a judge granting you house arrest.

What are Other Benefits of House Arrest?

Obviously, one of the biggest advantages of house arrest is avoiding spending time in jail. However, there are other positives of a judge granting you house arrest instead of forcing you to ride out your sentence in jail. Serving time under house arrest may allow you to:

  • Go to Work
  • Go to School
  • See Your Family
  • Seek Medical Treatment
  • Seek Counseling

Of course, certain stipulations may arise from your sentencing to house arrest, and the judge holds the ultimate power in determining exactly what your specific house arrest requirements will be.

Dedicated Criminal Defense Attorneys

The attorneys at Berry Law have experience helping clients fight their criminal charge. Our attorneys understand when you may be eligible for house arrest and what information can be used to help persuade a judge to rule in favor of house arrest in lieu of jail time. If you or somebody you know is facing criminal charges, you may be in one of the most important battle of your life. Call Berry Law today at 402-260-5767 to schedule a confidential consultation and begin fighting your next battle.

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