How Far Can You Go With Ankle Monitor? GPS Ankle Bracelet Side Effects

Ankle monitors are a familiar sight in the law enforcement, legal world, and it has proved to be a good piece of tech that helps to keep tabs on the whereabouts of a person who the courts would want to keep their eyes on. But how far can you go with an ankle monitor? What are some warning signs that your ankle monitor will give if you’re going farther than the allowed distance? These and more will be discussed in this article.

How Far Can You Go With Ankle Monitor?

You can go as far as 50 feet and 150 feet in rare cases, it’s also expected that you are within 30feet when it’s scheduled to upload the data. The distance you can take an ankle monitor varies on a case-by-case basis, hence, how far you can go with an ankle monitor is decided by the judge who is presiding over the case. Some persons are under house arrest, hence an ankle monitor that ensures that they are within the allowed distance. Some persons are allowed to travel farther, and there might be a cap on how far they could go, or where they can and cannot go.

Most ankle monitors have Wi-Fi or GPS and in some cases, a combination of both. The GPS transmitter ankle monitor is the most used one, and it regularly uses cellular signals to triangulate its position and communicate with the computers. If you travel outside the area you’re allowed, it is designed to notify the officers in charge of your case.

What does it mean when your ankle monitor vibrates?

Most ankle monitors don’t vibrate, with many only giving off beeps. If your ankle monitor vibrates, then it’s probably because:

  1. You have moved outside your granted perimeter.
  2. Another reason why your ankle monitor will vibrate is that you’re probably in a structure that contains a lot of metal, or walls that the monitor isn’t getting a signal.
  3. If your PO is trying to contact you, you’d likely also get a vibration on the ankle monitor.
  4. If the ankle monitor battery is low, it’s likely vibrating to notify you that it’s time to charge.
  5. The ankle monitor could also vibrate if it’s having issues. If you suspect that this is the case, you might have to speak to your PO or the company that attached the monitor.

What does it mean when your ankle monitor beeps?

When your ankle monitor beeps, it could be for a varying number of reasons, from something as simple as moving the beacon to another location to leaving the expected perimeter. The beep could also be a sign that the battery needs to be charged depending on the ankle monitor you’re using. In some cases, ankle monitor beeps could be a result of malfunctions, in which case you might need to speak to the agency monitoring it.

A beep is not always a sign that you’re in trouble though, when the ankle monitor beeps, it means it’s letting you know that it sent a message to your PO to check your location. As long as you’ve not violated the terms of your arrest, you should be just fine.

How long does it take for an ankle monitor to die? 

You are expected to charge your ankle monitor for a minimum of two hours every day for it to stay effective, and you can expect it to run for around 40 hours before it dies. I should mention, though, that over time, the battery of every device weakens, so you might not get up to 40 hours from a full charge of your ankle monitor.

My ankle monitor won’t stop vibrating?

If your ankle monitor won’t stop vibrating, it might be a result of technical issues with the device, so you should call your PO to notify them, and you can either call the monitoring company or allow your PO to do that. As a rule of thumb, if you see notice things you don’t understand happening with your ankle monitor, call your PO and report your observations.

What do lights on the ankle monitor mean?

The red light on your ankle monitor means the device needs to be recharged, it could also mean that you have not completed a required action, either an internet check-in or a telephone call. The red and green lights come on during initialization in the program officer’s office, while the yellow is always on when the monitor is receiving power. We recommend speaking to the PO and the company that installed it to be sure what the colors showing on your device means. You would generally get a manual with your ankle monitor.

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GPS ankle bracelet side effects (cons)

While ankle monitors are a necessity for many people and they really can’t do without these, there are a couple of cons of having ankle monitors. They include:

  • The cost. Ankle monitors cost between $5 and $25 per day, and you the user are expected to pay every penny of that. In some cases, the inability to pay for the use of the ankle monitors could be enough to send someone back to jail.
  • Comfort. Users have experienced irritations on their skin from wearing GPS ankle monitors.
  • Medical care issues. If you have a GPS ankle monitor, hospitals might decline to perform procedures such as MRIs, x-rays, mammograms, and CT scans on you, which might put your life at risk.
  • Signal. The device needs to stay alive and constantly be in touch with the authorities, hence there could be issues if the battery dies due to a power outage or if it loses the signal.

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Do you need a landline for the ankle monitor?

While not the case generally, some states require that you have a landline with your ankle monitor. Landlines are used to check in with the PO at certain times, often based on an arrangement. You would want to speak with the persons in charge of your case to determine what is obtainable.

Can ankle monitors listen to conversations?

Yes, some ankle monitors can listen to conversations as they come with built-in microphones. The track group is known for marketing these features in ankle monitors. You might need to speak to your attorney to get a better idea of what is and not acceptable.

Types of ankle monitors

There are two types of ankle monitors. One is the radio frequency transmitter while the second is a GPS monitor system.

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What happens if you cut off an ankle monitor?

You trigger an alarm when you cut off an ankle monitor. An ankle monitor has a built-in radio transmitter that sends an alert when the monitor has been tampered with, or the signal has interfered. In other words, if the wire that runs through the bracelet is cut, the circuit is disrupted, and an alarm is set off.

Some ankle monitors also possess integrated light sensors that are used to identify someone who attempts to break into the casing of the transmitter. Therefore, cutting off your bracelet will certainly send a distress beacon to the authorities, and you will be deemed as someone who has broken the monitoring program’s conditions.

Can you swim and take a shower with an ankle monitor on?

Due to the water resistivity of your bracelet, it is possible to go in the shower with an ankle monitor without causing damage to it. These bracelets are waterproof, although the degree of water resistance varies. This is why you can go in both hot and cold showers with an ankle monitor, but you have to be cautious when relaxing in a hot tub or swimming.

Although swimming does not damage the ankle monitors, the signal gets dimmer or even obstructed completely when immersed in water for an extended time. As a result, water can find its way into the ankle bracelet and short it out, and it could even deplete the battery.

When this happens, the authorities or your probation officer might be suspicious because it is difficult for signals to get transmitted through water.

You should know that taking a shower with an ankle monitor does not pose a danger of electrocution.

How do you know if your ankle monitor is dead?

The easiest way to know if your ankle monitor is dead is when the LED flashes red. Whenever the battery runs low, the ankle monitor will vibrate thrice in a row and once every minute till you plug it into a charger. The GPS module will output signals at this moment, triggering the LED to light red.

Can you go into your yard on house arrest?

Going in your yard on house arrest would depend on the circumstances. Usually, you have a foot restriction that determines if you can go in your yard or not and how far you can go with ankle bracelet when you are on house arrest. The terms of house arrest are explicitly stated in the court ruling. But if you have any questions, you need to consult the court or your lawyer for guidance, so you do not violate the release terms.

Also, you can be permitted to receive guests on house arrest as long as you adhere to the regulations of the supervision agency. While you must stay at home under house arrest, there are certain exceptions for when there is a need for emergency medical services and religious activities.

How do you know when your ankle monitor is fully charged?

As discussed earlier, the GPS LED in the ankle monitor will flicker a red light to notify you that it is dead and needs to be plugged into a charger. When plugged into a charger, the color will change from RED to a fast BLUE light showing the battery is low.

When the ankle monitor has charged more than 50 %, it becomes a pulsing blue light. To know if the ankle monitor is fully charged, the GREEN power light on top will glow brightly, implying that you can now disconnect the charger.

When your ankle monitor is fully charged, it should last about 40 hours on average. However, we believe that since devices’ batteries deteriorate with time, some charged ankle monitors might not operate for a total of 40 hours.

How to make an ankle monitor more comfortable – tips that work

Ankle monitors might not be pleasant to cope with, but here are a few options to make them more comfortable. 

  • Use an ankle monitor guard: An ankle monitor guard is a waterproof covering that fits any primary ankle monitor. During strenuous exercises, the ankle monitor guard prevents the ankle monitor from swinging around your ankle. It is lightweight and very comfortable to use.
  • Use a thick sock or sweatband: You can wear a sweatband or roll down a sock to prevent the ankle monitor from swinging on your ankle bone. The sweatband should be worn underneath or over the ankle monitor for extra comfort.
  • Wear clothes that do not reveal the ankle monitor: You might have plans of going places and are self-conscious about how to go with an ankle monitor. Wear clothes that do not show the ankle monitor to feel more comfortable around people. For example, you could wear wide legged-trousers, ladies also have the option of wearing long dresses or skirts.
  • Boots that are a few inches above your ankle could also work. The ankle monitor will stay on top of the boots and reduce the pressure of the bracelet against your skin, thereby making you feel comfortable.

How to take off a house arrest bracelet without breaking it

Before you take off the house arrest bracelet, you should know it is a violation. Without the authorities’ knowledge, there is no smart way to remove the ankle monitor; whatever method you try might lead to more problems. The ankle monitor has a fiber optic cable and will set off an alarm at any attempt to tamper with it. 

Although, there is an option to stop the GPS tracker from working, and that is to disrupt the signals. The signals that go from a GPS tracker to a satellite are electromagnetic radiations and can be blocked by wrapping an aluminum foil on the ankle monitor. This foil hinders the transmission of signals when a Faraday cage barrier is formed. Signals can also be shut by interfering with the transmission line of the signal.

Another option to take off your house arrest bracelet without breaking it is allowing the battery to run down. Then, when it dies, there will be no signal from it. But this will raise suspicion; depending on the probation officer, you might be pardoned at the first trial, but you will not be able to get away with subsequent attempts.

Once more, remember that any interference with the ankle monitor, regardless of whether you get it off, is a breach of the release terms. You will most likely be imprisoned or penalized for costly damages to the ankle monitor.

How to charge an ankle monitor without a charger

It is almost impossible to charge an ankle monitor without a charger. Therefore, disconnect the wireless charger from the power supply to use a monitor ankle charger and connect it to the tracker’s base. Once it is fully charged, it will display a glowing green light.

Best way to hide an ankle monitor

You probably have plans to visit places and are worried about how to go with an ankle monitor to avoid being stigmatized. Since ankle monitors cannot be removed yourself without extra charges, there are some ways to hide them:

To feel more comfortable around people, the best way to conceal these arrest bracelets are to wear clothes that do not show the ankle monitor. Experiences have shown that bell-bottom is a good example; they are those type of trousers that is wide from the knee length to the ankle. Aside from bell-bottom, there are other wide legged-trousers and loose-fit outfits you could wear. Some boots can go with ankle monitors, and ladies have the option of wearing long dresses or skirts over them to avoid unwarranted attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you get an ankle monitor for probation?

Yes, you do. Ankle monitors are bracelets the court requires an offender to wear on the ankle while on house arrest or probation.

What leg does an ankle bracelet go on?

It is not stated that a specific leg is required to go with an ankle monitor. It can be worn on any leg, either over your clothing or under it. The ankle bracelet should be on the lower leg; it is not required to be placed around the ankle.

Do you have to pay for an ankle monitor?

Yes, you do. Correctional service agencies suggest different ankle monitors, which require you to pay for them. Therefore, you must pay for it and cannot decide what kind to wear.