Many people in Hennepin County, Ramsey County and other parts of Minnesota opt for the Electronic Home Monitoring (EHM) program because home arrest is generally preferable to serving time behind bars. GPS ankle monitors help prevent Minnesota’s jails from becoming overcrowded with prisoners, especially those with non-violent offenses like DWI.


Who Can Use Electronic Home Monitoring?

Electronic Home Monitoring is intended for people who are convicted or plead guilty to Driving While Impaired (DWI) or similar violations. Minnesotans who commit felony offenses like certain assaults and theft/robbery likely will not qualify for EHM. Sometimes offenders must serve at least some of their sentence in prison and wear a GPS ankle monitor for a period of house arrest afterward. Options vary depending on the details of an individual’s situation and the judge’s ruling.

What Are the Requirements for Electronic Home Monitoring?

There are basic requirements offenders need to meet in order to qualify for the Electronic Home Monitoring program, such as having a home address where they can reside. In addition, they will need an active phone number where they can be reached. The phone number may be a cell phone or a landline.

Can the GPS Ankle Monitor Ever Come Off?

Participants in the program are required to wear a GPS ankle monitor all day for the duration of their electronic home monitoring sentence. The ankle bracelet is not allowed to come off to help them sleep at night. The monitor should also be worn while bathing. Many GPS monitors, including devices made by Scram Systems, should not be submerged in water, so it is crucial to protect the monitor from the water stream while showering.

Are There Exceptions Warranting Temporary Removal?

It depends on the circumstances of one’s case. For some EHM sentences, GPS ankle monitors may be temporarily removed for X-rays, MRIs or other medical reasons that call for it. While GPS ankle monitors may interfere with medical imaging scans, the monitors should not set off security sensors at retail stores.

Can Electronic Home Monitoring Participants Leave Home?

Minnesotans who participate in the EHM program are required to follow a rigorous schedule. They may be allowed to maintain academic and occupational duties if they receive adequate documentation from the school or their employer’s Human Resources department.

The opportunity to further one’s education and pursue employment is a major advantage because many people have difficulty integrating back into society after serving a significant amount of time in jail.

However, the offenses could impact one’s professional relationships since their employer will know about their legal situation. Colleagues may also notice the ankle monitor. Participants may have a couple of hours each week for other engagements, like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings or doctor visits.

Failure to follow a set schedule or provide proper documentation to a parole officer or other person in charge of the EHM program could land the participant back in a cell.

Weekly Checks

Participants in the electronic home monitoring program will be expected to regularly meet with their parole officer or whoever else is managing their EHM sentence. The meetings typically happen each week and are necessary for setting the schedule for the upcoming week. Weekly meetings are also an opportunity to share documentation from school or work.


Along with any fines someone might have to pay after an offense, there are also fees for using Electronic Home Monitoring. While the payments are usually paid weekly or biweekly, one is charged each day they have the GPS monitor. Depending on the length of the sentence, a GPS ankle monitor could be an expensive accessory.x

Are You or a Loved One Facing Criminal Charges in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Area?

Minnesota’s electronic home monitoring program gives residents the chance to serve their sentence while maintaining their employment status and receiving treatment for problematic behavior or dependencies.

Navigating criminal law cases can be difficult, so many Minnesota residents like to hire a private criminal lawyer to fight for a reduced or electronic home sentence. Contact one of our referral counselors at (612) 752-6699 for help finding a local, thoroughly vetted criminal defense attorney.