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Guidelines For A Sentence Of 'House Arrest'

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Take my wife, please.

A drug dealer in Tuscany begged for resentencing last month because he couldn't stand his cell mate. He had been sentenced to house arrest but his wife was such a nag, he escaped to the police station and asked that the rest of his sentence be served in the jail, a request that was granted.

When does someone get sentenced to house arrest?

Every jurisdiction sets its own rules on the use of house arrest. In general, a person can be confined to his home either before the trial, assuming that he does not present a flight risk, or after conviction when punishment harsher than a fine or probation is warranted but a jail term is too harsh or, in some jurisdictions, where the jails are too overcrowded.

Usually, a person must be a first time offender of a nonviolent offense and is subject to random home checks and alcohol and drug tests. The offender may be allowed out for work or church and may not have parties or alcohol on the premises.

To most, it sounds better than jail but that might depend if afterward you need a divorce lawyer in addition to your criminal lawyer.

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