If you’re facing a DWI charge, the preferred outcome, of course, is that the charge be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense like reckless driving. If that’s not possible given the evidence and circumstances, and you’re facing jail time, it’s important to know that you may have the option of electronic monitoring. This is commonly known as “house arrest.”
Under Missouri law, a judge may order a person to be placed on electronic monitoring, which typically involves wearing an ankle bracelet that tracks your location via GPS, as “an alternative to confinement.” Further, the law states that a judge has the discretion to “credit any such period of electronic monitoring against any period of confinement or incarceration ordered.” It cannot be ordered, however, if someone is a “prior, persistent, aggravated, chronic, or habitual offender.”
Adhering to the terms is crucial
The terms of electronic monitoring can vary. Typically, however, at least for a DWI, a person isn’t required to stay in their home. They’re usually allowed to go to work or school, attend any required treatment or education programs that are part of their sentence and carry out other obligations, such as getting medical care and going to court as needed.
If you’re able to wear an ankle bracelet in lieu of serving jail time, it’s crucial to understand all of the restrictions and adhere to them. It’s especially crucial not to tamper with it in any way. Under Missouri law, if a person “intentionally removes, alters, tampers with, damages, or destroys electronic monitoring equipment,” it’s considered a Class D felony. That’s why it’s important to be certain that you can comply with the rules before you seek this option.
A DWI charge doesn’t have to result in a conviction, and it doesn’t mean you’ll have to go to jail. However, the earlier you seek legal guidance, the better you’ll be able to protect your rights and assess your options.