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Tampering with ankle bracelet will soon mean immediate arrest

When an individual is released on parole, he or she is often equipped with an ankle monitoring bracelet that tracks the parolee's whereabouts at all times. Tampering with the ankle monitoring bracelets is illegal and can get a parolee in serious trouble.

Currently, Colorado lawmakers are working on a bill that would require the immediate arrest of parolees who tamper with their ankle monitoring bracelets. In the past, parolees were notified hours or even days later to report to have their ankle bracelets repaired.

The issue came under the legislative spotlight after Colorado parolee Evan Ebel cut off his ankle bracelet and was unchecked by his parole officer for several days while he escaped supervision and killed two people.

The bill has already been approved by the House Judiciary Committee with some amendments. A committee member predicted that lawmakers will pass the bill into law right away, saying "it's absolutely essential that this be followed up on fast, and firmly, and effectively."

Probation violations get Colorado residents in trouble frequently, whether it's for leaving town without permission, failing a drug test or allegedly tampering with an ankle monitoring bracelet.

The cases can be difficult because the parole officer often tells the parolee one thing and the judge another. That's why it's important to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can act as a liaison between the parolee and the district attorney's office.

Colorado residents who are accused of violating parole have the right to ask for a hearing, and it is a right they should not waive. At the hearing, the district attorney must show that it was "more likely than not" that parole violations occurred.

Source: The Denver Channel, "House committee moves forward bill to require arrest of parolees who tamper with ankle monitors," Feb. 6, 2014

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