Georgia Law On Tracking Devices
If you believe your partner might be cheating, have a newly licensed teen driver, or operate a small business with company drivers then you probably thought about investing in a GPS device. GPS tracking devices are great tools to secretly find out where someone is really going but are they legal to use in the great state of Georgia? Let’s take a detailed look at rulings on GPS and find out exactly what the GPS law is in Georgia for conducting surveillance.
Is Tracking Someone With GPS Illegal In Georgia?
Is GPS tracking legal In Georiga? First of all, hidden GPS units that can secretly track a vehicle are legal to purchase in Georgia. However, the way you use the devices matters when it comes to legally adhere to state and federal laws. Let’s take a look at some recent Superior Courts’ rulings when it comes to governing GPS so you can protect yourself!
Vehicle Was Registered To Me: If you are the owner of the vehicle you have every right to hide a vehicle tracker on that automobile without having to worry about a fourth amendment violation. This applies to both work and personal vehicles.
I am Not The Registered Owner Of The Vehicle: It is illegal to place a GPS tracker inside a car that is not your personal vehicle. However, if the vehicle is parked on public property you can place a hidden GPS tracker underneath the car.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you are a Georiga resident and the registered owner of the vehicle you can legally hide a vehicle tracking device in that car. If you enter a vehicle that is not yours to hide a tracker it could be viewed by trial courts as illegal search and seizure. Therefore, you would only want to place the hidden GPS tracker under the target vehicle. Typically, this is how licensed private investigators circumvent unreasonable search laws during child custody or criminal defense cases.
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Georgia Court Of Appeals Rule On GPS Tracking Law
Court Of Appeals Follow How Supreme Court Ruled (Warrantless GPS Tracking)
Sandy Springs, Georgia: When police officers spotted a burglary suspect, they wanted to gather evidence. Law enforcements’ primary strategy to conduct evidence-gathering surveillance is typically done via real time GPS tracking devices given how cost-effective and safe the technology is for officers. With the GPS tracking data, police in Fulton County were able to prove the suspect was indeed the person involved with local burglaries. Case closed right? Wrong.
When the police offices placed the tracking device inside the vehicle they did not first obtain a search warrant. Therefore, the defense filed a motion to suppress evidence obtained from the tracker on the vehicle, citing how the Supreme Court ruled on the United States vs. Jones case. In that landmark GPS monitoring case, the court’s decision the court erred when accepting evidence that was obtained without first acquiring a search warrant as it violated fourth amendment rights. The Supreme Courts’ decision made it clear that entering a vehicle that is not registered to you is the same as entering a house that is not yours.
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How To Legally Track A Vehicle In Georgia
First of all, never put a tracking system inside a vehicle you do not own. This is illegal as you are not allowed to enter into someone’s private property. Second, if you are going to use a tracking device make sure it is a portable device you can hide on the outside of the car. Here is our list of the best hidden GPS trackers. Lastly, make sure when you place the device on the automobile that you do so on public property! You can not go into someone’s garage or on their driveway to equip a tracker on a car.
Those interested in obtaining the most relevant information about how to legally use a GPS device in Georgia should contact an attorney in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Chatham, Clayton or the county they intend on using the surveillance system. Inforamtion in this article is not intended to be legal advice.