Home detention can be a penalty for a number of criminal offences in NSW. Home detention is offered as an alternative to a jail sentence.
If you have been sentenced to home detention in NSW, conditions include the requirement to reside at a specific residence, and to remain there for the duration of your sentence.
Electronic monitoring and close supervision are in place to ensure that you do not break the terms of your home detention.
How long does home detention last?
Home detention can be ordered for any period of time, as long as it is no longer than 18 months.
Can anyone be sentenced to home detention?
When determining whether you are eligible for home detention in NSW, conditions apply, and these include:
- Home detention is not considered appropriate for offenders who have been convicted, or have previously been convicted of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or sexual assault.
- Home detention is not permitted if the offender has been convicted of domestic violence, or if the offender has been the subject of an AVO by any person with whom they will be residing.
- Home detention is not allowed for offenders who have been charged with certain stalking and intimidation offences, firearms offences, or other serious violent offences.
Additionally, you will need to sign a consent form agreeing to home detention, and if you are residing with someone else, that person also needs to provide written consent to the home detention order.
A home detention order is only served when the court or magistrate is satisfied that no other sentence but imprisonment is appropriate.
Once this has been decided, you, or your lawyer, can apply to serve the sentence as home detention, rather than in prison.
There is an assessment process that takes place before a home detention order is handed down, and this will involve looking at the likelihood of you re-offending, the likelihood of you breaking the terms of your home detention, whether anyone you reside with is likely to be harmed, and whether you take any illegal drugs.
What type of conditions will I face?
The magistrate has the discretion to impose certain restrictions on a home detention order. These restrictions can include hours where you are allowed to work outside the home, or perform community service activities.
What happens if I break the conditions?
There are penalties for breaking the conditions of a home detention order.
The Parole Board is responsible for authorising a revocation of a home detention order, and if they are satisfied that you haven’t complied with the terms, or if someone you reside with has applied to have the home detention order revoked, you may be required to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail.
If you are facing charges that could lead to a potential prison sentence, it is a good idea to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer.
You may be able to argue that home detention is a suitable alternative to jail in your particular circumstances.
Your defence lawyer can advise you on the best course of action, and help you get the best possible chance of a home detention sentence, rather than full time jail.