If you made a mistake and broke the law, but you’re willing to accept the consequences, you might be able to avoid incarceration by entering an electronic monitoring (EM) program after pleading guilty or being found guilty. This program might also be an alternative to being incarcerated while awaiting trial.
New Mexico counties, including Santa Fe County, offer EM as an “inexpensive and non-intrusive alternative to traditional sentencing and incarceration.” By agreeing to wear an electronic ankle monitor, people can typically continue to work, attend school and go to other approved locations. It’s available to both adults and juveniles who are not deemed to be a serious threat to the community or a flight risk.
It’s critical to know and follow the rules
If you have the choice to enter the EM program instead of going to jail, it’s crucial to understand to rules and restrictions and be confident that you can follow them. If you don’t, you will likely find yourself behind bars. For example:
- It’s essential to know precisely where you can and can’t travel with your EM without setting it off.
- You may also have to submit to random alcohol and drug tests. (Some monitors will even detect alcohol.)
- You’ll need to check in with your case manager and perhaps other authorities as required.
- You need to properly care for your monitor.
- You need to fulfill any other requirements, like community service and drug or alcohol treatment
While EM can be a far better option than incarceration, it isn’t right for everyone. With experienced legal guidance, however, you can decide if it’s right for you and convince the court that you’re a good candidate for the program.