The Difference Between House Arrest And A Conditional Sentence

January 13, 2022

The Difference Between House Arrest And A Conditional Sentence

Law and order related jargons are something that not many people understand which usually leads to confusion. One of the most commonly discussed confusions is the difference between house arrest and condition sentences.

In this blog, we have addressed this common confusion. Along with explaining the main difference between house arrest and condition sentences, this blog also details what these two terms entail.

What Is House Arrest?

House arrest refers to a condition that requires the convict to stay inside their house at all times when they are serving a sentence or are out on release. Sometimes, when an individual is on house arrest he/she is allowed to roam around a certain perimeter around their house. This is measured using a GPS bracelet.

What Is A Conditional Sentence?

A conditional sentence is defined as a jail sentence in which you don’t have to spend time in jail, rather you have to serve your sentence by doing community service. This sentence is usually ordered by a justice person or a sentencing judge.

Can You Do House Arrest Instead Of Serving Jail Time?

House arrest or a conditional sentence can only be given for a few select offences. The eligibility criteria are quite complicated as there are several criminal offences that are excluded by the Canadian Criminal Code.

In addition to this, if a conviction qualifies for a conditional sentence, there are many factors that the person of justice has to consider. Some of the conditions that have to be met while deciding on a conditional sentence are:

  • The jail sentence must be less than 2 years
  • It should not have a minimum term of imprisonment under the Criminal Code
  • The individual should not pose any threat to the community
  • The fundamental purpose of the sentence should be satisfied

Eligibility for a conditional sentence is usually based on negotiations with the Crown Prosecutor assigned to the case. The best way to know if you will be able to get a conditional sentence is by consulting with a criminal defence lawyer.

Conditions Of A Conditional Sentence

A conditional sentence is given to a convict to restrict a person’s liability. Hence, even though you don’t have to serve jail time, the conditions will be very strict. Some of the common conditions of a conditional sentence include:

  • For half of the sentence, the person will be bound by house arrest
  • For the remaining time, the convict will be bound by a curfew
  • He/she has to complete the required community hours
  • He/she will have to abstain from alcohol and other intoxicating substances
  • He/she might have to attend counselling
  • He/she cannot communicate with complainants or co-accused
  • He/she cannot possess any firearms

Note that since serving a conditional sentence is relatively easier, they are given for a longer period of time as compared to a jail sentence.

What Happens If A Conditional Sentence Is Breached?

If a person breaches one of the conditions of a conditional sentence, he/she is asked to serve the remainder of the sentence in jail. Since conditional sentences are usually longer, you will have to spend a longer time in jail as compared to what you were originally meant to spend.

In some cases, you will not be given any jail time but the conditions of your sentence will be made challenging. More house arrest time will be added and the exceptions under which you can leave will be reduced.

Police Monitoring

In most cases, an ankle bracelet is neither required nor ordered. However, one of the conditions of the sentence is that the person should get a landline telephone installed in their residence. This way, the police officer in charge can conduct random checks by calling this landline or attending the residence in person. If the convict fails to answer the phone or come to the phone, he/she can be charged with a breach.

Hire A Lawyer

If you have been charged with criminal defence, it is better to hire an attorney. Being charged with a criminal offence is serious, its repercussions can have lifelong impacts.

Slaferek lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective defence strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here. Our expertise lies in criminal cases and DUI cases.

If you are scrambling with murder charges or are looking for a good criminal defence lawyer to fight your case, our team of trained lawyers can help you build a strong case. We have successfully closed hundreds of cases pertaining to murder, DUI, financial fraud and more.

Preserve Your Rights By
Contacting Darin H. Slaferek

We specialize in criminal law, delivering ethical, effective, and efficient legal solutions that prioritize the best interests of our clients.