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Does Post-Conviction House Arrest Count For Jail Time Credit?

by | Sep 2, 2020 | Criminal Defense

In an update to our previous post on this topic found here: /blog/2018/05/does-post-conviction-house-arrest-count-for-jail-time-credit.shtml; the Ohio Supreme Court recently held that a defendant is not entitled to days he or she spent in postconviction house arrest. In Ohio v. Reed, 2020-Ohio-4255, the defendant was placed on five years of community control and given a five year suspended prison sentence. Defendant subsequently violated that community control and was placed on house arrest. He was subsequently placed on electronic monitoring after new charges were filed against him.

Defendant ultimately admitted to the community control violation and argued that he was entitled to jail time credit for the period of time he spent on house arrest and electronic monitoring. Although the trial court rejected this argument, the Sixth District Court of Appeals reversed that decision. The State subsequently appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Interpretation of “Confinement” is critical

In its decision, the Court focused on Revised Code § 2967.191(A), which describes the types of confinement that entitle a defendant to jail time credit. That statuts states, in pertinent part: “[t]he department of rehabilitation and correction shall reduce the prison term of a prisoner, as described in division (B) of this section, by the total number of days that the prisoner was confined for any reason arising out of the offense for which the prisoner was convicted and sentenced, including confinement in lieu of bail while awaiting trial, confinement for examination to determine the prisoner’s competence to stand trial or sanity, confinement while awaiting transportation to the place where the prisoner is to serve the prisoner’s prison term”

The Court noted that the General Assembly, by giving an illustrative list of the types of confinement that qualify for jail time credit, demonstrated that jail time credit should not be given for all types of confinement. The Court noted that this list must be given effect, otherwise it would be superfluous, and the Court is obligated to avoid rendering any provision superfluous.

As such, a defendant imprisoned for a felony or misdemeanor is entitled to a credit if he or she was confined while waiting for trial, for a determination of competency or sanity, or for transportation to the place where the sentence is to be served or if he was confined in a juvenile facility. Each of these situations involves a public or private facility intended for penal confinement. Per the Court, the legislature has expressed the intent that credit is to be given only for the time a defendant is in a public or private facility. Confinement in a personal residence, as the Court notes, does not qualify under the statute.

Therefore, the Court held that Revised Code § 2967.191(A) is plain and unambiguous and limits a jail-time credit to specific types of confinement-those in which a defendant is confined in a public or private facility. The statute does not provide for a reduction in sentence for a term of postconviction house arrest or electronic monitoring.