Criminal Law

Electronic supervision – how to avoid prison.

Michał Sochański, 12.07.2019

A final judgment sentencing you to prison does not necessarily mean that you will end up there. Electronic supervision may be the answer to your problem. In this article you will learn:

    • What is electronic surveillance,

    • Whether your sentence can be served under the electronic surveillance system,
    • What should an application to the court for consent to serve a sentence under electronic surveillance system contain,

    • What is the course of the procedure for consent to serve a sentence under the electronic surveillance system,

    • What does the execution of a sentence look like in the electronic surveillance system.

If the verdict in your case is already final and the only thing you are waiting for is a summons to appear in a given prison, this article is for you. It may turn out that the so-called “ticket” you receive will not be used at all, and you will be able to serve the entire sentence at home, without giving up work, family and normal life.

If the matter is so urgent that you don’t even have time to read this article, please contact me. Under agreed conditions, I will advise you on what to do to avoid imprisonment. If everything goes according to plan, you can join dozens of my clients who are not wasting their lives in prison isolation.

What is electronic surveillance?

Electronic surveillance, electronic surveillance system, or simply an electronic ring is nothing more than the only institution of executive criminal law that allows serving a prison sentence without imprisonment (stationary supervision). It involves installing a transmitter that controls the place of stay of the convicted person and transmits information about this place to the controlling entity. The small transmitter is usually mounted on the leg – there it is easy to hide it from prying eyes. Supervision allows, on the one hand, to feel the inconvenience associated with the imposed penalty. On the other hand, it allows you to lead a normal life in freedom.

When can you serve a sentence under electronic surveillance?

Electronic surveillance is not for everyone… The regulations precisely specify to which cases it may apply. To serve a sentence under the electronic surveillance system:

    • Your sentence may not exceed one year and 6 months imprisonment. So if the judgment results in a sentence of imprisonment, without suspension, equal to or less than 18 months – electronic surveillance is for you. It is the content of the sentence, and not the sentence remaining to be served, that determines the possibility of using an electronic surveillance system. Therefore, if the sentence is e.g. 20 months, of which 2 months have already been completed (and 18 months remain to be completed), supervision will not apply. On the other hand, if there are more than one sentences, but their sum does not exceed a total of 18 months, you can fight for electronic surveillance system.

    • You cannot be a repeat offender, which means that a previous conviction under Art. 64 § 2 of the Penal Code excludes surveillance You don’t have to know the difficult concept of repeated recidivism… All you need to do is look at the content of your sentence. If, next to the article for which you are convicted, the court indicated Art. 64 § 2 of the Penal Code, electronic surveillance is unfortunately out of the question…

    • Obtain consent from adults who live with you in the place where you will perform electronic surveillance. In other words, the adult residents of the house or apartment where you will spend time must give you the green light to do so.

    • You have a permanent residence, and the technical conditions in this place allow for the proper operation of the system … Meaning the range of transmitters that can be equalized with the range of mobile telecommunications. Therefore, if this range is available in the house or apartment where the sentence will be served, the way to electronic surveillance is open.

    • The court must recognize that electronic surveillance is sufficient to meet the goals of the punishment, and that safety and demoralization considerations do not prevent it. In other words, the more polite and contrite the candidate, the greater the likelihood of winning.

Electronic surveillance and the commencement of a prison sentence service.

Consent to electronic monitoring is also possible from the prison level. This means that if you are already serving a prison sentence, you can also apply for electronic surveillance. In such a case, the court may grant permission to serve the remaining part of the sentence under electronic surveillance if your current attitude and behavior support the granting of permission. Therefore, you must be far from reprimands and prison subculture, and close to all kinds of praise, social rehabilitation activities, possible therapies and – if possible – work in prison conditions.

Electronic surveillance may also be applied to a person who has been sentenced to an alternative penalty of imprisonment for a crime or a fiscal offense or a penalty of imprisonment imposed under the conditions referred to in art. 37b of the Penal Code (mixed penalty consisting in combining a penalty of restriction of liberty with a penalty of imprisonment) or in art. 87 § 2 of the Penal Code (total penalty of imprisonment with restriction of liberty).

Several years of experience and several dozen “ringed” people allow me to move freely in this matter. If you allow me to compare the regulations with your situation, I will be able to assess the probability of success and show you the path to success. Contact me and give yourself a chance.


How to write a good application for consent to electronic surveillance?

Once you know whether electronic surveillance is for you, it’s time to prepare an application. The application for consent to serve a penalty in the electronic supervision system has no established form. However, there are some required elements without which it will not be complete. There are also parts of it, appropriate editing of which will facilitate the work of the judge. This is what you should particularly care about.

Firstly: the competent court. An application for consent to surveillance is submitted to the penitentiary court (i.e. district court) in whose district you are staying. Therefore, if you live in Lublin, the local district court will be competent. However, if you are already serving a prison sentence, e.g. in the Penitentiary in Pińczów, the District Court in Kielce will be competent.

Secondly: you. In the application for consent to surveillance, you must provide your data (name, surname, date and place of birth, PESEL/ personal identification number, parents’ names, mother’s maiden name, delivery address and the address where you will serve the sentence in the supervision system and contact number) and data regarding the sentence (or sentences) you want to serve under the SDE (issue date, case reference number and address details of the court that sentenced you).

Thirdly: the appendices. Attach important documents to the application for supervision, such as a mandatory agreement or employment contract (or a confirmation of engagement), confirmation of your qualifications (e.g. completed courses or training), children’s birth certificates, loan agreements or current tests (if you are undergoing treatment for something). Also remember to include an attachment in the form of written consent from people living together with you to carry out your sentence under the electronic surveillance system in a shared house or apartment.

There is no fee for applying for electronic surveillance – house arrest is free of charge.

Everyone is equal before the law. Effective lawyer makes the difference

There is no second place in the race for a fair verdict.

Your life – your application for surveillance.

In addition, describe your life and try to convince the court to give you a chance. Your future depends on what you present. Tell the court that you have a family, work, loans and other obligations. State your health status. Remember that electronic surveillance does not mean a total ban on leaving home. In order to perform work or attend to your affairs, you may leave the place of supervision for no longer than 12 hours a day (this will be discussed later in the article). Therefore, inform the court that you would like to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday, and you need an hour each time to get to and from work. The court, if you convince it, may in this case agree to stay outside the place of supervision, from Monday to Friday, from 7.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. If you work on weekends or want to perform religious practices then, inform the court about this

What does the procedure for consent to serve a sentence under electronic surveillance look like?

After you submit the correct application, the court begins to act. It delegates an appropriate team of specialists to the place where the surveillance is to be performed. They will check whether the range is sufficient and, therefore, whether the technical conditions allow you to consent to surveillance. The court may also send you a probation officer to check the conditions in which you and your family live. The curator will also visit your neighbors… The better your relations with them, the better their opinion of you.

If you are already incarcerated in a prison, the penitentiary court will ask its authorities to send an opinion about you. The better prisoner you are, the better your chances.

It usually takes about 2 months from submitting the application to the day of the court hearing… So you have to be patient. However, once you get to court, everything happens very quickly. Look neat and be prepared for questions. The meeting lasts a few to a dozen or so minutes.

How does electronic surveillance look like in practice?

It’s definitely better than serving a prison sentence in prison. As part of supervision, you wake up every day in your own bed, not in a cramped cell shared with several other people. You can stay away from the place of supervision for 12 hours a day, doing work or taking care of your affairs. You can also ask the court for a few hours of “free time” on weekends, e.g. to perform religious practices. However, the penitentiary court will decide whether and to what extent consent will be granted to you after verifying your documents and talking to you during the meeting.

The probation officer will supervise the correct execution of the sentence in accordance with the court’s decision in the electronic surveillance system. So you have to expect his visits. Sometimes unannounced. So do not consume alcohol or other stimulants. Do not invite people to your home whose presence might be undesirable from the probation officer’s point of view. Cooperate with the probation officer – he is your “first contact” person for the duration of the surveillance.

The next months of your life depend on a well-prepared application and a good presentation at the meeting. If you want to be sure that everything is 100% prepared, ask me for help. Your chances increase directly proportionately to the involvement of your lawyer. My record is 43 to 2, in favor of consents granted. The decision is yours.

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