Electronic bracelet during house arrest

Verified 17 February 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

House arrest with electronic surveillance (ARSE) or "electronic bracelet" is a measure depriving people of their liberty. This is an alternative to the pretrial detention. While awaiting the trial hearing or during a judicial inquiryHowever, the judge may require a person to live in a specific place, with a bracelet with a transmitter connected to an alarm.

House arrest with electronic monitoring (ARSE) is not a punishment. It is something that can be decided by a judge when a person is indictment in a judicial inquiry or when a defendant awaiting trial.


The ARSE is ordered by the investigating judge or the judge of freedoms and detention (JLD) on their initiative or at the request of the suspect.

For placement under ARSE to be ordered by the judge, several elements must be gathered.

  • The person must be indictment.
  • This is justified by the needs of the investigation.
  • The obligations of the judicial review are not sufficient.
  • The penalty that the person is facing is a prison sentence of at least two years.
  • The technical verification by the Penitentiary Service of Integration and Probation (SPIP) must be done (coverage of the mobile network and electricity).

The ARSE is ordered for a period of six months, renewable three times for the same period, without the total duration of the placement exceeding two years.


if the accused has been remanded in custody, he can be released with ARSE by the judge (placement of the bracelet before his release).


Before the trial before the criminal court, the public prosecutor may request the placement of thedefendant under ARSE. He then refers the case to the Judge of Liberty and Detention (JLD), who can decide on the placement.

ARSE may be pronounced in the following procedures:

The court that postpones sentencing, for the purpose of investigating the accused's personality, may order the person to be placed under ARSE until the date of removal.

The ARSE may be supplemented by the obligations and prohibitions which are possible in the event of judicial review (bans on visiting certain places, bans on meeting certain people, on receiving medical treatment...).

The bracelet must be placed within 5 days of the order placing it under ARSE.

The bracelet is placed with the consent of the person. This agreement must be given in the presence of a lawyer. If the person refuses this facility, the judge can decide to revoke the ARSE and place the person in pretrial detention.

Prison administration staff pose and remove the ankle bracelet. An alarm signal is issued if the bracelet is removed by the person.

The person can ask the judge at any time for a doctor to check that the bracelet is not harmful to his or her health.

A person placed under ARSE may be absent from his residence only on the conditions and grounds laid down by the judge. If she leaves her home outside of the set hours, a monitoring center is immediately alerted by a remote alarm.

ARSE is comparable to pre-trial detention for its entire duration because it is a measure depriving a person of his liberty.

For a minor, the ARSE can be performed in an educational placement institution or at the home of the legal representative of the minor (with his agreement).

The monitoring and follow-up of the ARSE measure is carried out by the Penitentiary Service of Insertion and Probation (SPIP).

Who shall I contact

Compliance may be monitored by the following means:

  • Phone Verification
  • Visit to place of residence
  • Summons to prison
  • Invitation to the SPIP

The judge may at any time:

  • Granting temporary permission to breach an obligation
  • Change home attendance times
  • Edit, add, or delete an obligation

The release of the measure of placement under ARSE may be ordered by the judge at any time. The ARSE can be replaced by judicial review.

At the end of a judicial inquiry, the investigating judge may decide to have the person on ARSE tried by the correctional court. In this case, ARSE ceases, unless the investigating judge decides otherwise.

Please note

indictment if the judge decides that the person must be tried by the Cour d'Assises, the accused stay on ARSE until the hearing.

Every time the bracelet triggers an alarm, an incident report is written by an officer of the monitoring center and sent to the judge or prosecutor of the Republic and to the SPIP.

A person who does not comply with the obligations of the ARSE may be subject to a arrest warrant or a order to bring, decided by the judge or the public prosecutor. This person may be remanded in custody on the basis of a decision by the JLD.

After the trial, in the event of a decision to non-suit, of relaxation or of acquittal the person placed under ARSE has become definitive and is entitled to compensation for damage suffered, moral and material. At the request of the person, the damage shall be assessed by expert opinion.

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