The Community Control supervision program, commonly referred to as “house arrest,” is a type of diversion program used as an alternative to imprisonment for eligible offenders. House arrest in Florida is by no means a way for offenders to “get off easy,” but rather a way for them to receive their punishment and work towards rehabilitation, while still being able to earn a living and live with their loved ones.
Florida Statute § 948.10 provides: “This complementary program shall be rigidly structured and designed to accommodate offenders who, in the absence of such a program, would have been incarcerated. The program shall focus on the provision of sanctions and consequences which are commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.”
Only certain offenders are eligible for house arrest. To learn if you may qualify and for help requesting house arrest in lieu of imprisonment, call Goldman Wetzel and speak to our criminal defense lawyers in St. Petersburg today: 727-828-3900.
What does house arrest in Florida entail?
Florida Statute § 948.001(3) defines community control as “a form of intensive, supervised custody in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with restricted caseloads. Community control is an individualized program in which the freedom of an offender is restricted within the community, home, or noninstitutional residential placement and specific sanctions are imposed and enforced.”
House arrest is an intensive program that confines the offender to his or her home for the majority of the time. Courts assign house arrest as a cost-effective means for offenders to build accountability and responsibility without removing all personal freedoms.
Who is eligible for house arrest in Florida?
The state designed house arrest for certain offenders with a strong employment history. Many of the people approved for house arrest are first-time offenders, non-violent offenders, and juvenile offenders convicted of crimes for which imprisonment seemed too harsh of a penalty, but probation too lenient.
Pursuant to Fl. St. § 948.10, the courts and the Florida Commission on Offender Review may use the community control program for offenders who fit one of the following three target groups:
- “Probation violators charged with technical violations or misdemeanor violations.
- Parole violators charged with technical violations or misdemeanor violations.
- Individuals found guilty of felonies, who, due to their criminal backgrounds or the seriousness of the offenses, would not be placed on regular probation.”
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or non-capital felony, or have violated your parole or probation, you need an attorney to advocate on your behalf. Goldman Wetzel will fight for your best interests and take any available means to prevent you from serving jail time.
What rules must I follow while on house arrest in Florida?
House arrest is certainly better than imprisonment, but it is no cakewalk. There are strict terms that the state expects you to comply with. Throughout your term, you will need to stick to your responsibilities and stay out of trouble. Violating the terms will mean additional consequences. Some of your responsibilities while on house arrest include the following:
- Report at given times, directed by your Community Control officer.
- Promptly report any potential changes in your schedule to your officer.
- Fill out a weekly schedule to give your officer.
- Fill out a daily log with hourly accounts of where you were and when, needs to match up with the schedule you made.
- Attend appointments with your officer.
- Undergo drug tests.
- You must request permission to leave your house for any reason. You must give your officer advance notice of any doctor’s appointments (you need a note from your doctor).
You cannot go out and visit with family or friends, or go on vacation, but you can work, go to school, do your community service, go to worship services (no social events), and participate in other preapproved activities.
House arrest confines you to your house and yard. If you live in an apartment complex, you cannot go to common areas like the pool, rec room, or mail area.
Call Goldman Wetzel for help requesting or “rolling over” house arrest in St. Petersburg.
Our criminal defense lawyers work together on each case, pooling their experience and knowledge to help our clients navigate the criminal justice system. We can help you pursue alternative punishment options such as diversion programs, probation, and house arrest.
If you are already on house arrest, we can file a motion to request that your house arrest be “rolled over” into probation early. For example, if your sentence is two years of house arrest followed by two years of probation, we can file a motion after one year of house arrest asking that it be converted to probation early. And if you need to travel or attend an important event like a graduation ceremony or funeral, we can file a motion to ask the judge to allow it.
Contact Goldman Wetzel in St. Petersburg at 727-828-3900 for a free consultation with our attorneys.