Conditional Sentence Order (House Arrest)
A conditional sentence order (not to be confused with a conditional discharge) is, in theory, a jail sentence. However, instead of being served in an actual jail, it is served in the community.
For this reason, it is commonly referred to as house arrest. When a person is serving this type of sentence, they are required to follow certain conditions imposed by the court.
If a person is charged with breaching these conditions, a hearing is held before the court to determine whether or not they have in fact breached the conditions.
If the prosecution can prove that a person breached the terms of their conditional sentence order beyond a balance of probabilities, a judge may order that the balance of the sentence be served in a traditional jail.
What are the Benefits of a Conditional Sentence Order?
A person sentenced to a conditional sentence has the ability to serve the sentence in his/her own home. This allows the person more freedom than s/he would otherwise have and the ability to be closer to family and friends.
Additionally a person sentenced to a conditional sentence order is often given a period of a few hours every week to attend religious ceremonies and purchase any necessities.
How is a Person Sentenced to House Arrest Instead of Jail?
A person can be sentenced to house arrest if the court sentences the person to a term of imprisonment of less than two years and
1) The court finds that such a sentence would not endanger the community and is not contrary to the principles of sentencing set out in the law;
2) There is no minimum term of imprisonment for the offence;
3) The offence is not by way of indictment with a maximum sentence of 14 years or life;
4) The offence is not related to terrorism or organized crime, prosecuted by indictment, with a maximum term of ten years in prison where:
a. Bodily harm resulted
b. There was importing, exporting, trafficking, or production of drugs,
c. And a weapon was used
5) The offence was not prosecuted by indictment and falls under the following categories:
a. Prison breach
b. Criminal harassment
c. Sexual assault
e. Human trafficking (for material benefit)
f. Kidnapping (person under 14 years old)
g. Motor vehicle theft
h. Theft over 5000
i. Breaking and entering a place other than a dwelling
j. Being unlawfully in a dwelling
k. Arson (for fraud)
General Principles of Sentencing
In determining whether or not someone should receive a conditional sentence, the court must examine the general principles of sentence.
Take the Next Step
Lakin Afolabi is a criminal defence lawyer in London, Ontario. He has successfully obtained conditional sentence orders for individuals facing long jail sentences in a real correctional institution. If you or someone you know is charged with a criminal offence and facing the likelihood of a jail sentence call him now for a consultation.