I am writing a piece of fiction in which the protagonist is put under house arrest after a bar brawl. This happens in modern-day Austria. House arrest means he is not allowed to leave the city without prior consulting with the police.

The protagonist does not have any prior convictions.

He is a foreigner and therefore may be a flight risk (because he can easily go back to his home country).

What kind of crime does the protagonist need to commit before, during, or after a bar brawl in order to be put under house arrest? Does the probability of getting house arrest increase, if he is rude to police during interrogation?

I see a spectrum here.

Spectrum of crimes

If he verbally insults someone in the bar, or spits in their face (but does nothing more than that), the probability of being put under house arrest is close to zero.

If he murdered someone during a fight, this would definitely lead to a house arrest or worse (e. g. he would be put into jail). The probability here is close to 100%.

Those are the extremes.

I need some crime between the extremes that

  • is more serious than a verbal insult,
  • less serious than a murder, and
  • can lead the protagonist to be put under house arrest.

One idea is that he may break someone's arm without putting the victim's life in danger. Maybe the police could put him under house arrest until the doctors decide how dangerous that injury is to the victim.


  1. We can assume that the police and other authorities are prejudiced against him because of his race. Therefore they can put him under house arrest even though this is unusual for this sort of crime. That is, that decision does not need to be fair.

  2. The protagonist is not very eloquent, does not know the legal system well and therefore the police and other authorities can assume that if they put him under house arrest illegally, they will get away with it. That is, if they put him under house arrest illegally, they won't be punished for this and the likelihood of him fighting back in court is non-existent.

  3. Your answer does not need to be 100% accurate, just believable.

1 Answer 1


Find below the condictions for the house arrest from the webpage of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice, (Google translation). I think this might be helpful to put together a realistic case.

The electronically monitored house arrest (eüH) is the most recent form of execution in Austria, it was introduced in autumn 2010. Basically, people who are sufficiently socially integrated and whose (remaining) sentence does not exceed twelve months are eligible for this form of execution. The eüH, colloquially often called "ankle cuff", must be applied for and can replace the execution of the prison sentence in the prison in its entirety ("front door variant") or shorten it ("back door variant"). The decision on granting the eüH is made by the respective management of the prison as the enforcement authority. Numerous requirements must be met, the existence of which is carefully checked. The criteria to be met include in particular:

  • The time to be served or still to be served does not exceed twelve months or
  • is not expected to exceed 12 months because, for example, a conditional discharge can be expected.
  • Suitable accommodation in the country
  • Suitable employment
  • Income for subsistence
  • Health and accident insurance coverage
  • Written consent of the people living in the same household
  • Prediction that after examining the living conditions, the social environment and any risk factors as well as compliance with the conditions to be imposed, this form of implementation will not be misused

The necessary surveys to clarify the prerequisites or to create the supervisory profile are carried out with the support of the “Neustart” association by social workers. This association is a contractual partner of the Federal Ministry of Justice and is also responsible for providing assistance to released prisoners, probation assistance and reconciliation of offenses. The employees of the Neustart Association are also responsible for social work support and, if necessary, for looking after the subjects of electronically monitored house arrest.

On August 1, 2020, 324 people and thus 3.79% of the prisoners were in electronically monitored house arrest.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .