MONTVILLE, N.J. (AP) — "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice was freed from prison Wednesday after serving nearly a year for bankruptcy fraud, and she returned home to spend Christmas with her family.

Giudice's lawyer said she was released at about 5 a.m. from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut.

She traveled home to Montville, New Jersey, in a black SUV and will be placed on home confinement until Feb. 5, attorney James Leonard said, though she is expected to spend Christmas Eve at her brother's home.

Giudice had a "very emotional, very powerful" reunion with her husband and four daughters, Leonard said.

"She's safe and sound in her own home. She's very happy to be here," Leonard said. "She's very much looking forward to a nice, quiet, low-key holiday with her family."

A black Lexus SUV with a red bow on top was waiting in the driveway when she arrived.

Giudice was sent to prison to serve a 15-month sentence in January. She earned early release with good behavior.

She and her husband, Joe Giudice, pleaded guilty last year to bankruptcy fraud. They admitted hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get about $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

Joe Giudice is expected to start his own 3 1/2 -year prison sentence in March. A federal judge staggered the couple's sentences in deference to their daughters.