Home detention is a pretrial option that allows a defendant awaiting trial to be in the custody of the Department of Corrections but living at home.
Pursuant to Vermont statute home detention “means a program of confinement and supervision that restricts a defendant to a preapproved residence continuously, except for authorized absences, and is enforced by appropriate means of surveillance and electronic monitoring by the Department of Corrections. The court may authorize scheduled absences such as for work, school, or treatment. Any changes in the schedule shall be solely at the discretion of the Department of Corrections. A defendant who is on home detention shall remain in the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections with conditions set by the court.”
One of the benefits of home detention, if a defendant qualifies, is that he is building up confinement credit (as though he was serving the time in jail) but is living at home. If the defendant is ultimately convicted of a crime the time he spent on home detention can benefit him by being credited towards his minimum sentence.
The procedure for obtaining home detention is also defined by statute:
Procedure. At the request of the court, the Department of Corrections, or the defendant, the status of a defendant who is detained pretrial in a correctional facility for inability to pay bail after bail has been set by the court may be reviewed by the court to determine whether the defendant is appropriate for home detention. The review shall be scheduled upon the court’s receipt of a report from the Department determining that the proposed residence is suitable for the use of electronic monitoring. A defendant held without bail pursuant to section 7553 or 7553a of this title shall not be eligible for release to the Home Detention Program on or after June 1, 2018. At arraignment or after a hearing, the court may order that the defendant be released to the Home Detention Program, provided that the court finds placing the defendant on home detention will reasonably assure his or her appearance in court when required and the proposed residence is appropriate for home detention. In making such a determination, the court shall consider:
(1) the nature of the offense with which the defendant is charged;
(2) the defendant’s prior convictions, history of violence, medical and mental health needs, history of supervision, and risk of flight; and
(3) any risk or undue burden to other persons who reside at the proposed residence or risk to third parties or to public safety that may result from such placement.
(c) Failure to comply. The Department of Corrections may revoke a defendant’s home detention status for an unauthorized absence or failure to comply with any other condition of the Program and shall return the defendant to a correctional facility.
(d) Credit for time served. A defendant shall receive credit for a sentence of imprisonment for time served in the Home Detention Program.
Contact us to speak to one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys to discuss whether you might be eligible for home detention while awaiting trial in Vermont.