Jail Alternatives

September 23, 2021 Written by
Is Electronic Home Monitoring An Alternative To Jail? Is Electronic Home Monitoring An Alternative To Jail? Kitsap Defense Attorney Jennifer Witt

Most people who are charged with a crime are especially nervous about the prospect of spending time inside a jail. That trepidation is understandable and it is often followed with questions about options for serving jail time in an “ankle bracelet,” “home arrest,” or electronic home monitoring (EHM).

 

Is EHM Always An Option?

 

Unfortunately, there is not a clear answer as to whether you will be allowed to serve jail time at home. First, there are certain crimes that require mandatory jail time. On occasion, those days can be converted to electronic home monitoring but many jurisdictions will not allow that. Second, not every jurisdiction has EHM provided free by through the court. In some circumstances, you can find an EHM provider who is in a nearby city to be approved by the prosecutor and judge. Third, some courts will allow a portion of the sentence to be served at home but there may be a mandatory day or two based on the statute under which you were charged and convicted.

 

Cost Of EHM

 

An important note to remember is that since EHM is not always free, it is important to discuss with your attorney the risk of attempting to do EHM but being unsuccessful due to lack of funds. The days you are required to “serve” are not forgiven or wiped clean because you can’t afford to serve them at home. In Kitsap County, the court no longer offers free EHM so the defendant must go find an out of county provider and pay for it out of pocket. For longer EHM sentences, this may be too costly.

 

Required EHM

 

The cost of EHM is important because for some crimes, such a first time DUI, the defendant could “serve” her sentence and never go to jail. However, she would be “serving” 15 days at home. That is because, for DUIs specifically, 1 day in jail converts to 15 days of electronic home monitoring. On a second DUI, the defendant can not avoid serving jail time because it is required by the statute. If the person blows .15 or under, she must serve 30 days in jail and then 60 days through EHM. If the person blows .15 or higher or refuses the breathalyzer, the defendant will have to serve 45 days in custody followed by 90 days of EHM.

 

Exceptions To Serving EHM

 

One exception to serving the 60 or 90 days of EHM following a DUI, is if the defendant qualifies under the statute for a “reverse” conversion. While some folks will do anything to stay out of jail, others need to avoid EHM for various reasons. The statute lists the permitted reasons but if, for example, you are homeless or live out of state, you can request at sentencing that the judge convert your 60 days (on 2nd DUI with blow under .15) to an extra 4 days in jail (60 EHM days divided by 15 = 4 days of in-custody). So, you would serve 34 days in-custody and have no EHM. Again, this type of conversion is very fact specific.

 

Call A Lawyer

 

If you are concerned about how much jail time you might face should you be convicted or plea to a certain crime, call our experienced lawyers. There is no reason to guess or search randomly on the internet. Every state and even local jurisdictions have different options for resolving cases so it’s possible you won’t be facing the DUI sentencing and subsequent jail alternatives.

 

Call and get peace of mind.