Can I Just do House Arrest in Michigan Instead of Going to Jail?


For many people facing a jail sentence here in Michigan, the idea of house arrest seems infinitely more appealing. And who can blame them? Being in your own home is considerably more pleasant than spending months behind bars in county jail. And while house arrest certainly isn’t a cakewalk (there will be lots of rules and restrictions!) you still have the benefit of sleeping in your own bed, eating home-cooked meals, and seeing your family on a daily basis. Plus there’s the issue of entertainment – jail is notoriously deficient when it comes to computer games and streaming services. So how can you arrange to get house arrest instead of a jail sentence in Michigan?

You can’t “arrange” it – only your judge can grant it!

Getting house arrest instead of jail time isn’t a decision you, or your attorney gets to make. Only a Judge can decide if your crime and your specific record warrants a period behind bars as a punishment, or if a period of house arrest is more appropriate. Assuming your crime wasn’t a felony (which gets punished with prison time, not jail time), you can discuss thi option with your defense attorney. They’re likely to know the Judge and know what your chances are of being granted a house arrest sentence instead of jail time. However, remember that it’s usually only granted when several conditions are met, including:

  • You are a non-violent offender
  • You don’t have a criminal history
  • You have a good, steady history of employment
  • You live with your parents, or your family, but not alone
  • Jail time may be too harsh for the crime you committed, but probation alone seems too lenient

What does house arrest really look like in Michigan?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question about house arrest. Assuming the Judge is willing to grant you house arrest instead of jail time, the conditions of that sentence will be a little different for everyone. In most cases though, it will mean not being able to leave your home for any period of time during your sentence. Exceptions to that rule can sometimes include permission to go to your job, permission to attend court-ordered therapy or counseling sessions, and court-ordered drug testing (called ‘doing drops’). Also, there are usually other conditions as well, like no alcohol, narcotics, or firearms in the house during your sentence. Also, allowing your probation agent into your home without notice and without a warrant. 

How does the court make sure you’re following the rules?

In most cases, when a Michigan resident is put on house arrest, they’re also equipped with a ‘monitoring bracelet, sometimes called a “tether” which is normally attached around the ankle. Tethers are tamper proof and any attempt to remove them or damage them is recorded as a violation of the terms of your house arrest. The purpose of a tether is to monitor a person’s location around the clock. So if you leave your house, which you’re not allowed to do when you’re on house arrest, the monitor on your ankle will alert the police and it will be recorded as a violation. Violating the conditions of your house arrest will likely land you behind bars!

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you get the best outcome in your case

There are many benefits to hiring an experienced and skillful defense attorney when you’re accused of a crime. Having access to years of wisdom and knowledge about the Michigan legal system is only one part of the package. Knowing you’ve got someone on your team who is going to fight for the best possible outcome in your case, no matter the challenges, is invaluable. So if you’re facing jail time and you’re wondering about the possibility of house arrest instead, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our aggressive criminal defense attorneys have been representing our client in the lower peninsula of Michigan for over a quarter-century, and we’d like to help you too. Call us 24 / 7 at 866 7NoJail.

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