Why did my judge require GPS monitoring as condition of bond?

Before arraignment and before seeing a judge, bond is usually set by a predetermined bond schedule. When defendants appear at arraignment, judges usually reconsider bond after scrutinizing pretrial’s required assessment and report along with the defendant’s criminal record.

Remember that Bond’s purpose is twofold. First, Bond ensures a defendants return to court. Factors involved in considering a defendant’s likelihood of returning to court include a defendant’s ties to the area, such as job, family, and the how long the defendant has lived in the area. Second, bond insurers that a person will not commit new offenses before the end of this case. When a person stands to loose thousands of dollars if they commit a new crime, he/she is less likely to do so.

Sometimes, a judge hears evidence that a person has little or no ties to the area, combined with the nature of charge alleged, and deems the defendant a flight risk. Traditionally, this makes the bond amount go up. However, in today’s world of technology, GPS is a real option, while costing around $300/month, gives judges an option other than a bond amount that would otherwise keep a person in jail before trial.

While not a good thing, GPS may be the only other option to a judge has, other than simply increasing bond and remanding a defendant until posted. In such a case, without GPS monitoring, a judge could hold that the schedule bond amount is just not enough to secure a defendant’s return to court.

The next question is: what can I do to get off this ankle monitor (GPS monitor)? If you prove that you are trustworthy and continue to appear at court dates, you will be giving your attorney the leverage and ammunition to have more chance to convince the judge to modify your bond conditions and remove GPS. Also, if you are unemployed, get a job.

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