Posted by Jeremy Swanson
On September 16, 2014

Is Electronic Monitoring Available in Criminal Cases In Kern County, California?

The simple answer to the questions is, yes, Kern County has electronic monitoring. The complete answer is much more complicated.

If you are facing jail time, is there a way to resolve your matter by being placed on an electronic monitor instead? Depending on the circumstances and the criminal charge, there is the possibility that an experienced defense attorney can arrange for such monitoring.

How can it be complicated? There are a number of different ways that electronic monitoring may be used at this point in time. The Kern County Sheriff and the Kern County Probation Department both have electronic monitoring programs. Within those two agencies there are multiple programs that may involve electronic monitoring. There is a third option, known as RMOMS. That third option is the Rocky Mountain Offender Management System. RMOMS is a private company that the Kern County Probation Department has approved to handle some types of electronic monitoring.

In resolving a charge in a fashion that avoids actual jail time, one of the electronic monitoring options that is available might be employed. Where there are justifiable reasons, such as the need to maintain employment to support a family, health issues, or other similar pressing concerns a skilled defense attorney may be able to negotiate for a jail sentence to be served through an electronic monitoring program.

The first program is administered directly by the Probation department. A person has to turn themselves in to jail, spend the night, and then be released into the program. There is an ankle monitor which must be worn the entire time the sentence is being served on house arrest. Accommodations are made for regular working hours and the rest of the time must be spent at home. This program requires a land line telephone to be present in the home. Violations of this program will result in the remainder of the sentence being served in actual jail.

The second option is through the RMOMS program. This program employs different types of monitors. There is a SCRAM device that constantly detects whether the wearer has consumed alcohol. While, not a substitute for a jail sentence, there are certain types of cases where in lieu of a longer jail sentence a period of time on a SCRAM monitor may be included as a term of probation.  There is a breathalyzer that takes a picture of the person taking the test and reports the results electronically with set times throughout the day that the test must be completed. This option also may be used for the same purpose as the SCRAM device. There is a GPS monitor that is used for house arrest monitoring as well. Violations of this program are violations of probation and may result in the rest of the term being spent in jail.

There are reasons why one program might be more beneficial than another, depending on the individual circumstances in each case. Your lawyer should be familiar with each of these programs and how they work in order to assist you in resolving your criminal matter in the best way possible.