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Your Guide to GPS Monitoring and Parole Sentences

Parole Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Your Guide to GPS Monitoring and Parole Sentences

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Have you ever seen one of your friends wearing an ankle bracelet? No, we’re not talking about making a fashion statement, we’re talking about the GPS monitors handed out by police departments. If you’re eligible for parole soon, then you may be required to join those who are rocking out ankle monitors.

What exactly is electronic monitoring, and what does it consist of? What should you expect during this phase of your parole? What happens if you’re accused of removing your monitor? If you’re new to electronic monitoring, then it’s natural to have these questions. Learn everything you need to know about GPS monitoring for parole sentences below.

What Is GPS Monitoring?

It’s no secret – jails across America are full. Overcrowding is a serious issue, but GPS monitoring provides a valid alternative to traditional incarceration in some situations. It’s much less restrictive than being incarcerated, and it allows inmates to continue having jobs and relationships. Here’s how it works:

  • You’ll be required to wear the ankle bracelet at all times.
  • Your GPS coordinates will be sent to your parole officer.
  • If you leave a specific geographic area, then an alert will go out.
  • You’ll have to get permission to leave your home.

It’s a lot to manage, but it’s still better than being restricted behind bars. Get more details about the restrictions you’ll face below.

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What Restrictions Should I Expect with Texas Home Confinement?

These GPS monitors are expensive. Often, you are the one who will be responsible for paying for the device. This fee ranges anywhere from $5 to $25 a day. In theory, home confinement would require the inmate to remain at home for the duration of their sentence. In practice, that’s nearly impossible.

Depending on your circumstances, you’ll likely be given certain permissions. You may leave your home to travel to and from:

  • Work
  • A treatment or rehabilitation center
  • Church
  • Community service location

Outside of these parameters, you’re limited in your movements. You’ll have a curfew, and you’ll likely need to check in with your parole officer periodically. You may get phone calls, or the officer may simply check your location at certain points during the day.

You’re prohibited from ever attempting to tamper with or remove your ankle bracelet for any reason.

Depending on your circumstances, you may also be subject to regular drug or alcohol tests. It’s necessary to stay clean for the duration of your probation period. Failing to do so could lead you right back behind bars.

If you have questions about your specific restrictions, then clarify everything with your parole officer.

Who is Eligible for GPS Monitoring in Texas?

In Texas, there are two forms of house arrest – radio frequency electronic monitoring and GPS monitoring. These two devices are similar but not exactly the same. The traditional ankle bracelet is a radio frequency electronic monitoring device that will immediately transmit a signal to the parole officer when it goes outside of a specific area. A GPS device allows for the tracking and monitoring of a person’s whereabouts.

There is a surprising number of individuals who are currently under house arrest. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, over 2,900 offenders are monitored through GPS technology daily, on average. There are about 1,800 who are monitored with radio frequency devices.

So, who is eligible for this type of arrangement? You won’t be eligible to request home confinement if you’ve committed certain violent crimes, but most home confinement decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. In general, you’re more likely to get approved for this type of deal when:

  • You’re a juvenile offender
  • Your crime did not involve violence
  • You are a first-time offender
  • You don’t have a long history of offenses
  • You have a secure and stable job
  • You are vulnerable to abuse in prison
  • You’re physically ill or incapacitated

Do you feel like you would be a good candidate for house arrest? If so, then you can request the opportunity in court. There are no guarantees because fitting into the criteria does not mean you’ll automatically be granted house arrest.

Texas courtrooms are more likely to grant a house arrest for crimes like DWI or drug possession. They’re also more likely to grant house arrest when you have an attorney who argues on your behalf.

Are you currently incarcerated but hoping to finish your sentence on house arrest? There are a few things you can do to help convince the parole board to grant your request. Consider volunteering while in jail, join educational classes or attend rehabilitation courses. All of these actions will show the court that you’re willing and able to reintegrate into society.

Contact parole lawyer Greg Tsioros today»

What Happens If I’m Accused of Violating Parole?

Remember – house arrest and GPS monitoring are considered privileges. It’s an alternative to incarceration. If you’re accused of violating the restrictions, then you may be rearrested. You’ll be charged with violating your parole, and it’s very likely that the remainder of your sentence will get served behind bars.

That’s the last thing you want.

There is hope, though. If you’re rearrested or accused of parole violation, then you have a right to request a hearing. This hearing is your opportunity to explain to the judge and the parole board what happened.

You need to use this opportunity to its fullest. Your fate rests in the parole board’s hands. If they decide you’ve violated the terms, then they may recommend sending you back to jail. Instead, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney who can argue on your behalf.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Will you be eligible for a parole hearing soon? Are you considering requesting GPS monitoring as an alternative to imprisonment? If so, then a criminal defense attorney in Texas can help throughout the process.

An attorney will help advise you on specific steps you can take in your circumstances to gain favor with the parole board. Often, their decisions are based on your behavior while incarcerated. You need to prove to the board that you’re seeking rehabilitation. GPS monitoring can help you reintegrate into society while serving out the remainder of your sentence.

If you were granted GPS monitoring but later had it revoked, then consider reaching out to a defense attorney who can help you get the hearing you’re entitled to.

Regardless of your circumstances, a criminal defense attorney will help you determine your best options.

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