Tampering with an Electronic Monitoring Device is a FelonyPublished: Jan 25, 2017 by Erika Valcarcel
In Florida, ankle bracelets are used to enforce the terms of community control, better known as probation, or parole. They are also used if you are out on bail awaiting trial or sentencing. During these punishments, you are only allowed to travel within a particular zone. Moving beyond the permitted territory causes the authorities to be notified and leads to your arrest on a new charge.
For a variety of reasons, some illegal and others simply irresponsible, you may try to take the monitor off or alter it so it will not notify the police. However, tampering with or attempting to circumvent an electronic monitoring device is now a felony. Prior to House Bill 75 being signed into law in October 2016, there were few consequences for this action. However now, you may face a third-degree felony for trying to get around the GPS device.
If you have been charged with this felony, you should contact an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer of Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. right away in order to protect your already limited freedom.
Call us today at (941) 363-7900 to find out how we can help you.
House Bill 75
HB 75 was approved by Gov. Rick Scott in March 2016. The bill created Section 843.23 of the Florida Statues. Under this new law, it is illegal for you to intentionally and without authority:
- Remove, destroy, alter, tamper with, damage, or circumvent the operation of an electronic monitoring device that has to be worn or used by yourself or another person due to a court order or an order from the Florida Commission on Offender Review, or
- Request, authorize, or solicit a person to remove, destroy, alter, tamper with, damage, or circumvent the operation of an electronic monitoring device worn by court or commission order.
The law is relatively broad in regard to what actions could be considered unlawful. You may be charged with this crime if the ankle bracelet notifies law enforcement of any change. If you are required to wear such a device, you should be careful not to mess with it in any way, even if you are trying to improve the comfort or appearance of the monitor. Leaving the ankle bracelet alone is the best way to ensure there are not faulty signals or misunderstandings.
Penalties for Tampering with a Monitoring Device
If you are accused of trying to take off, destroy, alter, or get around an ankle bracelet, you may be charged with a third-degree felony. Under Florida law, a third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. This offense can also count toward becoming a habitual offender in Florida. If you have already been convicted of two or more felonies in the U.S., you could be deemed a habitual felony offender. For this subsequent third-degree felony charge, as a habitual offender, you face up to 10 years in prison.
Contact a Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
Whether you made a stupid mistake or your monitor went off for an unknown reason, call a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer at Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. right away. A third-degree felony can have devastating consequences, particularly if you already have a conviction on your record. Judges are not going to look favorably upon a person they believe tried to get around the law. At Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A., we will do everything we can to defend your innocence and protect your freedom.
Call us today at (941) 363-7900 to schedule an initial consultation.