5 Things to Know about House Arrest in New Mexico
You have been convicted of a crime, and while the normal sentence involves jail time, the judge has allowed you to try house arrest.
House arrest is just one of the many jail alternatives being posed by the court these days. You could also have probation, fines, or community service. However, some cases allow you to serve your sentence by being confined to your home. To ensure you stay there, an electronic monitoring device is attached to the ankle. This device tracks your whereabouts, and specific acts throughout the day are heavily monitored.
While this might sound ideal, most individuals that are serving house arrest quickly change their mind about its conveniences.
5 Things to Realize About House Arrest
House arrest is not a vacation. You are still following strict rules from the court, and all it takes is one mess up to find yourself back in jail serving out the rest of your sentence, and possibly extra time.
Reality Check One: It is Not 24/7 at Home
There are instances where you might be allowed breaks from your house arrest. However, these breaks are scheduled and court-approved and might include doctor’s appointments, work, school, counseling sessions, court appearances, or showing up for community service. You have strict hours that you can attend these “breaks,” and then you must return home.
Reality Check Two: You Pay All Costs
Most people that go on house arrest cannot afford the cost of doing so. While the house arrest process is cheaper for the state than putting you in jail (it saves them approximately $20,000 per year), it still costs you $6,000 or more per year for at-home monitoring. This does not include your court fees, fines, and attorney’s fees either.
You might pay monthly or weekly toward the cost of your monitoring service. If you cannot afford it or you fail to make payments, the house arrest could be revoked.
Reality Check Three: You Do Not Receive Good Behavior Credits
When you are in jail, you can receive time off your sentence for good behavior. These “good credits” are not available while you are on house arrest, even if you offer hours of community service. Instead, you will spend the entire sentence under house arrest.
Reality Check Four: A Condition of Bail Too
You could serve on house arrest as a condition of your bail. However, if you fail to follow the restrictions of your bail, then you could be sent back to jail too.
Reality Check Five: Mistakes are Not Forgiven
You cannot claim ignorance or shrug off a missed curfew. If you make any mistakes, or ignore the rules of your house arrest conditions, it will often result in an immediate arrest. You are sent back to jail to serve out the remainder of your sentence.
Consult with an Attorney About New Mexico House Arrest Rules
The rules and regulations for house arrest vary widely. Therefore, if you are convicted of a crime or even charged with a crime, it is best to speak with a local defense attorney who can help you figure out your best option.