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Paul D. Cramm

Court-Imposed House Arrest as a Term of Probation


Interviewer: Are there any other levels of probation that are commonplace or important for people to know about?

Paul: Yes. On a second or subsequent DUI offense, the court may impose an extended term of house arrest, either as the sentence or as a prerequisite to participation in probation.

House Arrest Is Likely to Be Imposed for Third and Subsequent DUI Offenses

That particularly true for third and subsequent lifetime DUI and DWI offenses that are charged as felony crimes. These drivers face a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days.  A court may order that you spend 5 days in custody and then 85 days on house arrest to satisfy this 90 day mandatory minimum sentence.

Kansas Recently Amended the Terms of House Arrest to Include Hours, Not Days, to Allow for Continued Employment

Recently the Kansas statute has been amended to calculate house arrest in terms of hours, not days. To the extent someone wants work release privileges he or she will be released from house arrest to go to and from employment.

Work Release Privileges Will Extend the Number of Calendar Days Needed to Fulfill the Terms of the House Arrest

Time spent away from their residence no longer counts towards the term of house arrest, so taking advantage of the work-release privilege will significantly extend the number of calendar days a driver will have to spend on house arrest in order to satisfy the number of hours required by statute.

Interviewer: What else is involved in house arrest? Do you literally just have to sit in your house and you have an ankle bracelet on to monitor your location?

To Monitor Your Compliance with House Arrest, You May Wear an Ankle Monitoring Device or Be Required to Answer Your Phone and Be Breath-Tested for Alcohol Consumption at Intervals throughout the Day

Paul: They have gone towards an ankle bracelet monitoring as technology has advanced. They also have a device that plugs inline between the phone and the wall. This device will ring at random intervals during the time that you are expected to be at home.

When it rings there’s a small camera and a tube attached to the device, and you have to blow into that tube, they can see your face on the camera and they want to make sure you’re not hanging around at home having a drink.

They want to make sure you don’t have someone at home who’s not drinking to blow into this device for you. It’s relatively advanced and it’s relatively thorough.

Clients tell me that that the house arrest monitoring device will ring at least once every hour to hour and a half, even throughout the night, so about every 60 to 90 minutes they wake to the sound of the phone ringing, they have to go blow into the device and then try to fall asleep before it rings again, so it’s really no fun to be on house arrest.

While Burdensome, the Monitoring Is an Option to a Jail Term

Interviewer: That’s sounds just punitive, not helpful.

Paul: It really is, and I think that the law enforcement perspective is that house arrest sure beats the Johnson County Detention Center, and that’s the option. If the option is a jail cell, I think it sort of allows law enforcement and prosecution to feel better about imposing strict house arrest conditions because house arrest is essentially an alternative to sitting in jail.

To Mitigate the Onerous Penalties Imposed for a DUI Conviction, Attorney Paul D. Cramm Diligently Defends His Clients Facing Felony DUI Charges

House arrest is burdensome to my clients, but that’s why I prepare every case I handle as though it were going to trial. That’s why I tend to be a little bit more aggressive in my trial decisions for second, third, and subsequent lifetime DUI charges.

In most Felony DUI cases, the motivation to waive trial isn’t as great because the court is required to impose at least the mandatory minimum sentence, and that’s probably what the prosecutor is offering.

As long as you present legitimate, valid defenses at trial, I believe there are too many judges in the jurisdiction who will impose significantly more egregious sentences just because a defendant wanted to take his or her case to trial. Relatively speaking, I tend to be a bit more aggressive in my assessment of second and subsequent cases for trial. I say fight these charges in an effort to avoid the penalties.

House arrest is no fun. Jail is no fun. Treatment is no fun. Random UAs are no fun. But the prosecutor needs to have a pretty strong case for me to tell my client to accept those terms without a fight.

Which Monitoring System Is More Likely to Be Imposed?

Interviewer: In terms of house arrest, how often are they going to have the device on your phone versus an ankle bracelet? Nowadays, what are they leaning towards?

Paul: I think they do both. The ankle bracelet confirms that you are where you’re supposed to be physically. The device in the wall confirms that you are the one giving the breath sample and that the breath sample does not have alcohol in it.

The courts use both devices, and particularly when one is going to have work release privileges, they want that ankle bracelet to confirm the person is simply going to and from the approved, designated location for work but they still have that little black box waiting for you when you get home to make sure that you’re not getting home and popping a beer and putting your feet up.

Watch this video to learn how Paul Cramm defends DUI and DWI defense and to see why you need his representation in your Kansas City Drunk Driving case.

I represent clients facing Misdemeanor and Felony DUI charges in the Greater Kansas City Metro Area and the municipalities of Johnson County, Kansas: De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, and Shawnee.  Call today for a free consultation: (913) 322-3265.

Paul D. Cramm

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