Does Being on Pretrial House Arrest Count Towards Jail Time Credit?

In addition to deciding whether to set a monetary amount for the bail, the court will also consider requiring that Brett be subjected to certain conditions.  In this case, Brett is placed on “house arrest”, whereby Brett is ordered confined to his home, except for certain limited and pre-approved purposes, such as attending work, school, or medical appointments.  Brett is ordered to wear an electronic home monitoring device, which transmits Brett’s location to the Court to ensure that Brett is complying with the conditions of his house arrest.  This involves Brett wearing an ankle bracelet.  Brett is also responsible for paying a daily fee for the use of the equipment.  Although it is better than being in jail, Brett views being on house arrest as a form of punishment.

Several weeks or months later, Brett pleads guilty to the charge (or is found guilty at trial).  The judge sentences Brett to jail for a specified duration.  Brett feels that he should receive jail time credit for the days that he was confined in his home.  Is he entitled to have his sentence offset by this period of pretrial house arrest?

Ohio Revised Code section 2949.08, entitled “Custody Upon Conviction – Reduction of Sentence for Days Served”, addresses the issue of jail time credit and states as follows:

 (C)(1)  If the person is sentenced to a jail for a felony or a misdemeanor, the jailer in charge of a jail shall reduce the sentence of a person delivered into the jailer’s custody pursuant to division (A) of this section by the total number of days the person was confined for any reason arising out of the offense for which the person was convicted and sentenced …

The operative word is “confined”.  We must next examine whether the word “confined” in Ohio Revised Code section 2949.08(C)(1) encompasses house arrest.  Strangely enough, the term “confined” or “confinement” is not specifically defined by the Ohio Revised Code.  The Ohio Supreme Court, as well as the various Courts of Appeals, have equated “confinement” with “detention” and looked at Ohio Revised Code section 2921.01(E)’s definition of “detention” for guidance.

Ohio Revised Code section 2921.01(E) states:

“Detention” means arrest; confinement in any vehicle subsequent to an arrest; confinement in any public or private facility for custody of persons charged with or convicted of crime in this state or another state or under the laws of the United States …

Based upon this narrow definition of “detention”, various appellate courts have held that “Detention does not include supervision of probation or parole, or constraint incidental to release on bail.”  Furthermore, the Ohio Supreme Court has concluded that “pretrial electronic home monitoring was not intended to be a form of detention under R.C. 2921.01(E).”

Therefore, Brett is not entitled to jail time credit for the days of his pretrial house arrest.

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About Jon Horwitz

Jon Horwitz is an experienced criminal defense lawyer dedicated to helping people charged of a crime. He is dedicated to providing honest, straightforward advice and advocacy in order to get the best possible result for each client. Jon currently lives in Centerville with his wife and two children. He coaches basketball through the Centerville Hustle organization and is a former soccer coach. He continues to play soccer and is an avid fan of the sport.

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