Many people prefer home detention/house arrest to jail, but then come to realize there is hardly any information regarding what to expect both online and from your attorney themselves. This leads to uncertainty and even possibly fear, fear of the unknown and fear of the potential difficulties you may consider when it comes to what you are allowed to do and what may lead to a violation. Coming from someone who has experienced it themselves, I hope to quell any potential fears you have and help you conclude if home detention is for you.
This information encompasses Marion County, Indianapolis. Although it may be helpful in getting a wider idea on what to expect in other counties and jurisdictions. After sentencing you will head directly to the home detention office and prepare to get fitted with the bracelet and given a list of rules on what you can and cannot do. Sometimes you will be required to watch a short video giving more details, such as where you can and cannot go and what to do when needing to do necessities. You will also be given a pamphlet with instructions on how to report to drug testing, numbers to call, and how to get a hold of your case manager. You will also be given a gallery number at this time which will be your number you use when reporting to your case manager, drug testing, and as detailed later, the call center.
Typically, you are only allowed to go from your front door to your back door. You must call a call center for permission to do anything that requires leaving your house, and it must be for necessities only. You will be given this number in your pamphlet, and they will ask for your gallery number and your name. It is a 24-hour line that can be called at your leisure, however, keep in mind that this number is only for necessities. They will require the address of the location you wish to go and the time frame. Giving them accurate information is paramount to making sure you don’t violate, such as going over this time limit will potentially get you a violation. If you see that you are going over the time, you can usually call the call center again and extend it- however, do not always expect a “yes” to your questions. You must also let anybody you are living with know about your home detention status and keep away from everyone that has a felony or is on probation. Keep in mind that this information is regarding Marion County, Indiana/Indianapolis, and you may not have this available to you in other counties and jurisdictions.
You can also call your case manager for necessities however they are usually restricted to taking your call from opening hours, which is Mon-Fri 9 am to 4:30 pm. You will not always get through to them during this time though as your case manager will potentially have other clients to deal with and may also be in meetings or out of work for that day. Depending on the relationship between you and your case manager and how well you follow the rules, aren’t problematic, and don’t fail drug tests, you may also earn the ability to get free time to do other things. You may also get expanded areas of freedom, such as going in your front and back yard. This is highly based on the individual case manager so do not expect every situation to be the same. If you are not allowed to go in those areas, then you must call the call center for things such as grabbing the mail, taking out trash, and mowing your yard. For things that aren’t necessities you are also instructed to relay those questions to your case manager instead. Asking questions is paramount to your success as assuming you can do something, and being wrong, can get you in trouble.
In Marion County and also depending on your relationship with how well you have followed the rules up until the infraction, some things that warrant a violation may instead be given a verbal warning or even necessitating a sit down with your case manager discussing the situation and how to prevent it from happening again. This is much preferred to a violation as a violation requires you to then go back in front of the judge and potentially get more time added to your sentence or have your home detention altogether revoked. However, if the infraction is egregious or your case manager necessitates it, then you may be immediately violated.
Drug testing is also a necessary procedure under home detention. In Marion County you are required to call a number every night and give a predesignated pin number that will inform you if you have a drug test the next day. You are required to call after 9PM up until closing time of the drug testing facility the next day, which can range from 5PM on weekdays to 1PM on weekends. Missing a drug testing is the equivalent of a failed test and may result in a violation. Failing a drug test does not always mean that you will get a violation, as my case manager in Marion County has a three-strike rule. Missing 1 requires a verbal warning, missing 2 gets a sit down with the supervisor, and the third will be a violation. Do not expect this to be the norm with your case manager as it varies case by case and person to person, but asking questions related to it will never illicit negative consequences.
Working while on home detention is fairly straightforward. You must have you and your boss send your work schedule through email to your case manager within 5 days of being put on home detention. Not doing so will require you to call the call center and get permission. Picking up extra shifts will also require calling the call center or your case manager. I have yet to get a “No” for any questions relating to working, and if your work requires you to go to multiple locations, your case manager may ask for you to let them know either prior to going or at the end of the week in case any issues arise.
Altogether, home detention is still much more preferable to being in jail. You are able to enjoy the amenities of your home, go to work, and your life is still able to continue forward instead of being frozen as is the case for going to jail. If you are facing a criminal matter where home detention is a possibility, call the criminal defense attorneys at Banks & Brower @ 317-870-0019 so they can give you the best possible outcome of your scenario!