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When can home detention be an alternative to incarceration?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Overcrowding remains a serious problem in Maryland’s jails and prisons – as it does throughout the country. If you’re facing incarceration for a non-violent crime, that could present a silver lining for you. 

Maryland has home detention programs that are managed by each county. Despite the name, those who qualify for the program aren’t necessarily confined to their homes 24/7. Typically, they can go to work, school, church or other religious services, medical and legal appointments and court-mandated activities like counseling. 

Electronic monitoring isn’t just used in lieu of incarceration. If a person is awaiting trial, it may be a condition of pretrial release so they don’t have to sit in jail during that time.

The county’s Home Detention Unit tracks participants

Those in the program are tracked through an electronic monitoring device (often called an “ankle bracelet.”) It uses GPS to allow those in the county’s Home Detention Unit to monitor their location day and night.

The wearer typically has to pay to participate in the program. However, it can cost far less than having to take time off of work or pay for childcare if ordered to spend a few days in jail after being convicted for DUI

If you’re a first-time offender and you’re not considered a danger to anyone, you may have the option of the home detention program. However, before you seek that option, it’s crucial to understand the requirements and restrictions and make sure you’ll be able to comply with them. If you violate any of them, you’ll likely find yourself serving time after all. 

Of course, your first preference if you’ve been charged with a crime is having the charge dropped or reduced, depending on the situation. Your best first step is to get experienced legal guidance to help you seek the best possible outcome for you.