Could Judge Merchan put Donald Trump under house arrest where he would have to be in his penthouse in Trump Tower when he is not in court or going or coming to court? And maybe give him the weekends off.

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    Commented May 9 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


Judge Merchan can revoke Trump's pretrial release, for failure to abide by the conditions of that pretrial release, or could sanction him for contempt of court (e.g. violation of the gag order in the case) by imposing an incarceration sanction for the latest instance of contempt of court (Trump has already been fined for contempt of court in this proceeding and the judge has threatened to punish further gag order violations with incarceration).

In both cases, the ordinary thing for a judge in a criminal case to do would be to send the criminal defendant, in this case, Mr. Trump, to an ordinary New York City jail such as Rikers Island.

House arrest could be imposed as an alternative to the current terms of pretrial release. I'm not sure if it could be done for a contempt sanction, as house arrest is very rarely imposed as a sanction for contempt of court. But if the defendant, knowing he faced incarceration in a regular jail instead, accepted house arrest and the prosecution and judge accepted that sanction, there would probably be no one in a position to object to that sanction. If house arrest were imposed, it would probably be done mostly to accommodate the needs of Secret Service agents detailed to the 2024 Presidential candidate.

I assume that this question is not actually be asking about a sentence to be imposed in the event of a conviction of Mr. Trump in his current New York State criminal trial, because it says "during the current criminal trial."


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