Leaving Home Monitoring System Can Result in an Escape Charge

The Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals has just ruled that a if person is on electronic home detention (e.g. an electric ankle bracelet that monitors the location of a defendant) while on probation, and that person defies the geographical limitations of the bracelet or snaps-off/shuts-off the bracelet, that person can be charged with a separate and subsequent escape crime - even if that person was sent to jail for a probation violation. The defendant in State v. Peters, 2009 Ohio 5836 argued that, because the trial court had already sent him to prison for violating the electronic monitoring terms (i.e. ankle bracelet) of his probation, charging him with a separate and subsequent crime for the same conduct violated the "double jeopardy" clause of the Ohio and United States Constitution. However, the Court of Appeals disagreed. The Court held that (i) charging one for conduct which also resulted in a probation violation is not a violation of double jeopardy and (ii) a trial court is without authority to dismiss an indictment prior to trial because there is no legal mechanism (as there is in a civil case) for a court to do so. Suggestion, keep the ankle bracelet on and keep watching Oprah.