Why Is My Ankle Monitor Red?

Ever asked yourself, Why is my ankle monitor red? Well, you’re not alone. The sight of a glaring red light on your ankle monitor can be as alarming as it is puzzling, especially if you are unaware of what exactly it signifies. Ankle monitors, also known as tether or electronic monitoring devices, have grown increasingly prevalent in our justice system and beyond – but with their rise comes a wave of questions and concerns that leave many wearers feeling lost and anxious.

A red light on your ankle monitor could indicate a variety of issues, such as a low battery, loss of signal, or a violation of your program’s rules. It is important to contact your monitoring agency or parole officer immediately to understand and resolve the issue.

Why Is My Ankle Monitor Red

Explore various reasons why an ankle monitor may turn red

An ankle monitor displaying a red light can indicate several issues, each requiring attention or action. Here are some common reasons:

  1. Low Battery Warning: The red light often signals that the battery is critically low and needs immediate charging to ensure continuous monitoring.
  2. Tampering Alert: If the monitor detects any attempts at tampering, such as trying to remove or damage the device, it may trigger a red light as a security alert.
  3. Geofence Violation: Many ankle monitors are programmed with geofencing technology. If the wearer goes beyond the permitted area set by the court or monitoring agency, the red light may activate as a violation alert.
  4. Technical Malfunction: A red light can sometimes indicate a malfunction or error within the device’s system, requiring technical inspection or replacement.
  5. Loss of Signal: If the monitor loses its signal or cannot connect to the monitoring network, it may display a red light to alert the user and monitoring authorities of connectivity issues.
  6. Scheduled Check-ins: Some devices use a red light to remind the wearer of scheduled check-ins or necessary actions, like charging the device or reporting to a monitoring center.
  7. Emergency Situations: In certain models, a red light might be used to signal an emergency situation, either related to the wearer’s health or a need for immediate legal attention.

In any case, a red light on an ankle monitor is a sign that the wearer or monitoring authorities need to take some action, whether it’s charging the device, checking for proper functioning, or addressing a potential compliance issue.

Ankle Monitor  showing Red light due to Low Battery, Tamper Alert, Loss of Signal, and Technical Malfunction

What Should You Do?

  1. Don’t Panic: Remember, it could be a simple issue like a low battery.
  2. Check the Manual: Many monitors come with a user manual that explains light indicators. Consult it for guidance.
  3. Charge the Device: If it’s a battery issue, charging should solve the problem.
  4. Stay Within Boundaries: Ensure you’re within your allowed zone.
  5. Avoid Interference: Keep away from devices or places causing signal interference.
  6. Contact the Issuing Agency: If you can’t identify the issue, get in touch with the agency that provided the monitor. They’ll provide further steps or replace the device if necessary.


A red light on your ankle monitor can be alarming, but understanding its possible causes can put your mind at ease. While some reasons are simple fixes, others might need professional intervention. Always approach the situation calmly, consult any available resources, and when in doubt, reach out to the relevant authorities. It’s better to address the red light promptly than to wait and potentially face complications.

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