GPS Ankle Monitoring Device
GPS ankle monitoring is usually part of Conditions of Bond or Conditions of Release. At this point you’ve already been bailed out of jail and now you have a GPS Ankle Bracelet monitoring your every move. The bracelet is bulky. It needs to be recharged often. You don’t want to wear shorts in public. You can’t take it off. It costs too much (you’ll have to pay the daily fee, in advance, to keep it on.) This fee can cost hundreds of dollars a month. These are the most common complaints by clients who have an GPS Ankle Monitor. Victim Safety First is one company which provides GPS ankle monitoring devices to Travis County.
How does the GPS Ankle Monitoring Device work?
Here is an example of the Program Rules and Payment Agreement:
In Travis and Williamson Counties, GPS Monitoring is a somewhat routine Condition of Bond. More likely than not, it was put on your ankle because you have been ordered to avoid certain places and/or people. Your GPS ankle monitoring device may be installed after your release or it may be installed while you’re still in jail.
How the GPS Ankle Monitoring Device Relates to Your Court Case
You’ve already met with Pre-Trial Services or the Probation Department to meet with the Officer supervising you. You’re upset that you have to wear it at all. Innocent until proven guilty, right? While that might be true, the Judge will need some extra insurance that you’re going to follow the rules. You need to be on good terms with your Supervisor or Probation Officer. You’ll be given a list of rules and agree to comply with them. Like everything else, there are conditions. Read them carefully… Here’s a sample. Take a look:
When you’re released they will be your first point of contact if any issues come up. You were too close to a place you weren’t supposed to be? Call your PO. Your device isn’t working right? Call your PO. Basically, any issue that comes up, that MIGHT get you revoked, contact your PO. If you’re up front and honest with them, it will get you a long way later on. When you want to ask the Judge to remove the monitor, following the rules will get you a long way later on.
Whether its a Supervisor through Pre-Trial Services or a Probation officer, stay on their good side. They may be willing to vouch for you later on when you’re in front of the Judge. I can’t stress that enough.
Can I get the GPS Ankle Monitoring Device Removed?
The easy answer is yes. However, like I’ve said before, it depends on a variety of factors. These factors are similar to the ones the Judge considered when setting bond in the first place. Compliance with the program, rules, and on-time payments will all make you look good. If you’ve had no contact with the other person or alleged victim, that will also work in your favor. Depending on the Judge, your probation officer, and the prosecutor, you and your lawyer may request the removal of the ankle monitor. Some Judges have a waiting time they like to see so that a record of complying with the program is available. For example, some Judges want you to keep the ankle monitor on for 90 days without any problems. This means on-time payments, checking in with probation when you need to, avoiding people and places ordered by the Court.
Wearing a GPS ankle monitoring device is annoying, embarrassing, expensive, and inconvenient. No one is going to debate that. However, you need to keep in mind that you need to do the best you can, with what you’re given. Follow the rules, pay your bill in advance, and be respectful to your Supervisor/Probation Officer. The amount of clients who fail to do one of these three things is very, very high. If you follow those three steps, you will have a much greater chance of having the ankle monitor removed later on.