When you are placed under house arrest by a judge, you may be required to wear an ankle monitor, also known as a house arrest bracelet, ankle bracelet, or tether, at all times. These devices may also less commonly be used to monitor activities and whereabouts of those who have a restraining order against them. Mostly, non-violent misdemeanor offenders are placed on house arrest. If the court has mandated that you wear an ankle monitor for any reason, you may be wondering how they work and for more information on the different types of ankle bracelets.
How Ankle Bracelet Monitoring Works
Ankle monitors are commonly used for house arrest situations, as well as for other types of legal rulings, and they have been in use for many years. There are several different models of ankle monitors, but most work in essentially the same way. They are electronic devices that are tethered around your ankle. They are designed to be tamper-resistant and must be worn at all times. The device uses a radio frequency signal to communicate back to a monitoring station. If the device is tampered with or removed, authorities will be alerted. In addition, it may be programmed to allow you to roam freely within a certain area, and it may have GPS monitoring functions that alert the monitoring station if you go outside of the permitted area.
Different Types of Ankle Monitors
Generally, ankle monitors are large, black devices that are affixed to your ankle. They are rather bulky in appearance and cannot be removed. They are generally waterproof, but can malfunction at times. Be sure to call your probation or parole officer immediately if this happens. Some have special features that may be utilized in specific cases. For example, some may have auditory or listening functions, and a person at a monitoring station may use the device to listen to your conversations with others.
Others may have alcohol or illegal drug monitoring functions, and they may be used to alert authorities if you consume alcohol or ingest drugs. The Sentinel Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, or SCRAM, is a common alcohol monitor. These special features of advanced monitoring devices allow authorities to ensure that you comply with the terms of your house arrest while enabling you to enjoy the privacy and limited freedom in your own home.
Ankle Monitor Rules and Restrictions
If you have been required to wear an ankle bracelet by the court, it is important that you listen to the usage requirements, rules, and restrictions. When you fail to follow the rules, such as if you step outside of the perimeter or take the device off, authorities may be dispatched to your home. You may be found in violation of your house arrest, and this may result in legal consequences. Other house arrest rules and restrictions may include:
- Interruption of signal when user should be within their home
- No drugs or alcohol and submit to drug testing
- Pay court fees and fines
- Meet with probation or parole officer weekly
- Compliance with all other conditions of supervision
How Far Can You Go With an Ankle Monitor?
Depending on the specific terms of your house arrest, you may have a pre-determined schedule where you are allowed to leave your residence at specific times for employment and other approved activities, such as grocery shopping or going to church. At all other times you will need to stay within the range of your monitoring equipment.
How far you can go on your ankle monitor depends on the terms of your house arrest, but typically the range will be short, between 50 and 150 feet. Your paperwork should have instructions on the limitations and where you can go.
Failing to abide by your restrictions can result in a parole violation.
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