House arrest

  Criminal law, Uncategorized

He house arrest or permanent location penalty is a modality of detention which can be accessed by defendant who has been detained for a legal reason.

The deprivation of liberty is carried out at home of the convicted person or in any other address that has been approved by the corresponding Court. But when is house arrest applied? How long can it last?


What does the penalty of permanent location or house arrest consist of?

house arrest, currently called the location penalty, it is one of the types of deprivation of liberty penalties established in the Spanish Penal Code. This is an exceptional measure that can only be activated by the magistrates in charge of controlling the execution of the sentence after issuing a judgment, that is, the Criminal Execution judges.

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Nevertheless, If the detention is established during the investigation phase, it will be the judge of instruction who makes the decision regarding house arrest. In the event that the file has already been submitted to oral trial, it is the Court of that phase of the process that is in charge of disposing of this type of penalty.

While the sentence is being served, the convicted person cannot leave the established domicile for any reason, unless prior judicial permission is obtained.

when the defendant has committed the same thing on numerous occasions crime and therefore is a repeat offender, The court may agree that he serve the arrest at his home during work days. and on weekends and holidays in the penitentiary center.

When is house arrest applied?

House arrest applies both in people who are being prosecuted with preventive detention, and in those detained with final sentence who are serving their sentence in prison.

In fact, it can be imposed in different crimes, whether it is a main penalty, an alternative penalty or a penalty of subsidiary personal responsibility in case of non-payment of a fine.

House arrest as the main penalty

House arrest, as the main penalty, is carried out in the following crimes:

When it comes to minor crimes of gender violence either domestic violence, the arrest or location sentence will be ordered at a different address than that of the victim.

In this type of crimes, House arrest is also considered as a preventive resource for new crimes, specifically in mild cases against:

  1. Spouse or partner, without the need to live together.
  2. Descendants, ascendants, own or spouse's siblings.
  3. People or family members with disabilities who require special attention and care.
  4. People who belong to the family nucleus or are vulnerable.

The duration in these cases is 5 to 30 days.

House arrest as an alternative penalty

The Judge has the power to grant a prison sentence different from the established sentence., after evaluating different aspects such as the personal circumstances, the crime and the conduct of the accused person.

If when applying the rule of article 71.1According to the provisions of article 71.2 of the Penal Code, a detention sentence of less than 3 months is established; this must be replaced by other measures such as fines, community service work or house arrest.

When you proceed in this way, each day of prison must be replaced by one day of house arrest, one day of work or two installments of fine.

Permanent location as a penalty of personal responsibility

In the event that non-payment of the fine is due to a minor crime, it can be replaced by a location penalty. According to what is established in the law, for every 2 daily installments that have not been paid, one day of permanent location must be fulfilled.

Once the fine is replaced by permanent location, the sentence may be higher than the limit established in article 37.1 of the Penal Code for this type of penalty.

How long can house arrest last?

House arrest lasts up to 6 months depending on article 37 of the Penal Code. This forces the person under investigation to remain at the address imposed by the corresponding court or subsequently by reasoned order.

The duration for serving the sentence is established as:

  1. Light sentence, up to 3 months.
  2. Less serious penalties, up to 6 months.

1. The permanent location will last up to six months. Its compliance obliges the offender to remain at home or in a specific place set by the Judge in a sentence or later in a reasoned order.

However, in cases in which permanent localization is provided for as the main penalty, taking into account the reiteration in the commission of the offense and provided that the specific applicable precept expressly so provides, the Judge may agree in a judgment that the penalty of permanent location is fulfilled on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays in the penitentiary center closest to the residence of the prisoner

2. If the convict If requested and the circumstances advise it, after hearing the public prosecutor's office, the sentencing judge or court may agree that the sentence be served on Saturdays and Sundays or non-continuously.


Article 37 of the Penal Code

House arrest control method

For verify that the investigated person is complying with the house arrest sentence, there are 3 methods. The main method is the one in which an electronic bracelet and its respective modem are used at home connected to the network of the Penitentiary Center and State Security Forces.

The telematic bracelet is placed on the wrist or ankle of the convicted person, in such a way that, if a distance violation is committed, departures outside the residence or an attempt is made to manipulate the device to violate its control, an alarm is activated.

Similarly, You can use other methods such as calls to the corresponding address at any time of the day. to ask questions of the prisoner and visits by the State Forces to verify that the arrested person is there. However, they are not the most recommended methods in these cases.

4. To guarantee effective compliance, the Judge or Court may agree to the use of mechanical or electronic means that allow the location of the prisoner.

Article 37.4 of the Penal Code

What happens if the convicted person violates house arrest?

When a person fails to comply with the sentence of house arrest, that is, when he leaves the assigned address without authorization, he is committing the crime of breach of sentence, as read in the article 468 of the Penal Code.

3. If the convicted person fails to comply with the sentence, the judge or sentencing court will deduce testimony to proceed in accordance with the provisions of article 468.

Article 37.3 of the Penal Code

The direct consequence of such action is a prison sentence of between 6 months to 1 year in the event that the person investigated is deprived of liberty at the time of the violation. The rest of the cases will be punished with a fine of between 12 and 24 months.

Coupled with this, the accused person will be left with criminal record in your file.


House arrest is an alternative measure that the Judge can execute in specific cases and circumstances. Although the law stipulates a time limit for serving this sentence, The court has the power to extend it according to the criminal act or the circumstances of the person.