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What You Need to Know About Electronic Monitoring


If you are convicted of a crime, it is quite common for a court to sentence you to “community control” as part of the sentence. You may be asking yourself, “is community control different from probation?” The answer is yes. Community control is a more restrictive form of supervision where you effectively cannot leave your home. It is basically a type of house arrest.

You will probably be required to wear a GPS monitor on your ankle so the Florida Department of Corrections can electronically monitor your every step.

Electronic monitoring is governed by Florida Statute 948.11. It says the Florida Department of Corrections has the discretionary authority to electronically monitor you after you have been sentenced by a court to community control. 

Procedures for Monitoring Individuals

The statute specifically states that the Florida Department of Corrections is empowered to use procedures and investigative techniques to report any noncompliance with the terms of your community control sentence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are determined to be noncompliant with your sentence, the Florida Department of Corrections will typically generate a report of noncompliance that is then sent to a community control officer in order to open an investigation.

Local law enforcement is often contracted in order to assist in locating and apprehending people found to be noncompliant, according to the data relayed through the electronic monitoring system. This often means that noncompliance is swiftly investigated and addressed by law enforcement. 

You Bear the Burden of Paying for the Electronic Monitoring

Many people are surprised to discover that when they are sentenced to community control and electronic monitoring is ordered, you are required to pay the Department of Corrections for the electronic monitoring service. In other words, if you are being supervised via a GPS monitor, you are legally obligated to pay for that service so the Department can monitor and track your activities day in and day out. 

Intentionally Tampering or Damaging the Device Comes with Hefty Price

In addition to paying for the monitoring service, if you are found to have intentionally altered, tampered, damaged, or destroyed the electronic monitoring equipment, you may be required to pay up to $5,000 in monetary fines. You could also be ordered to serve up to five years in prison. This means when you receive the monitoring equipment, treat it with care and keep it in good condition. 

Violent Offenders and Sex Offenders Subject to More Intensive Monitoring

For individuals with prior violent offenses or sexual offenses on their record, Florida law requires that a monitoring system must be used that identifies the individual’s location and records their presence near or within a crime scene or in a prohibited area (e.g., a school or daycare center). If you go beyond your geographic limitations, the aforementioned noncompliance report is generated and sent to law enforcement officer to initiate an investigation. 

Speak to a Winter Park Criminal Defense Attorney

As you can see, electronic monitoring can be a serious burden, both in terms of finances and in what activities you can be involved in. This is why fighting your criminal charges is so important. Speak to the Winter Park criminal defense attorneys of Cotter  Zelman, P.A. We are known for skillfully handling complex criminal matters from arrest to appeal. Contact our office today.


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