Athens County Municipal Court has announced that it’s invested in ankle monitoring devices that will allow more defendants to stay out of jail while their cases are pending.
The recent investment is part of the court’s efforts to create a new program in which defendants can take advantage of greater leniency on bail and avoid having to wait in jail while their cases move through the courts. It also follows an Ohio Supreme Court ruling from earlier in the year that held that the amount of bail should be based only on how much is needed to ensure a defendant’s return to court, rather than other factors. In that ruling, the Court also suggested ankle monitors as an option for judges who want to reduce risks of a defendant failing to appear.
As Court Clerk Tonya Dye told WOUB Public Media, the new system, which will also feature text messaging capabilities to alert defendants about upcoming court dates, has a lot of benefits for criminal defendants who’ve been arrested but have not yet had their cases adjudicated. This includes losing access to social support, family, and jobs or housing when they are incarcerated.
As KBN Attorney Brad Koffel notes, the ankle monitoring program also provides an opportunity for accused individuals to obtain counsel with greater privacy:
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“On behalf of the entire Ohio criminal defense bar, I applaud Athens County Municipal Court in taking this active step to keep accused citizens out of jail while their cases wind through the court system. They get much better representation – as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment. – when they can meet their lawyer in the privacy of the lawyer’s office.”
KBN represents clients accused of crimes in Athens County and courts across Ohio. If you have questions about a criminal matter and how our firm may be able to help you, call (614) 675-4845 or contact us online to speak confidentially with an attorney.