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GPS Tracking Laws In Virginia

Is It Illegal To Track Someone’s Car In Virginia?

What You Need To Know About GPS Tracking Laws In Virginia

Military divorce is unfortunately common in Virginia where social media, sexual text messages, and other outside factors can ruin a good relationship. If you are concerned about infidelity and want to track your spouses’ vehicle you have probably researched how a tracking system can help you bust a cheater. But before you hide an electronic tracking device on your partner’s vehicle it is important to understand the code of Virginia so you don’t break any laws. This article is to help guide you to legally find out the truth about a cheating spouse while avoiding any possible electronic traffic device penalty!

Related Article: Stop Unauthorized Tracking By Finding A GPS Tracker Hidden On Your Car!

Can I Use A GPS Tracker In Virginia?

Is It Illegal To Spy On Your Spouse In Virginia

It is 100% legal to purchase a GPS device that can record the location of a vehicle. However, how an electronic tracking device is used can either be legal or illegal. Let’s first take a closer look at Virginia’s laws for vehicle tracking. According to Virginia Code § 18.2-60.5, you can not hide a GPS tracking device inside a person’s vehicle without that person’s consent. However, there are some very distinct exemptions. Here is the list of people who can legally spy on your car according to the Virginia code:

  1. Registered Private Investigators
  2. A Parent Or Legal Guardian Of a Teen Driver
  3. Law Enforcement
  4. Fleet Vehicles Owner
  5. Caregiver Of Incapacitated Adult

So what does that mean for electronic communications and unauthorized use of electronic GPS devices for people who suspect their partner or spouse might be cheating? Simply put, if you are not the registered owner of the vehicle, any GPS data or evidence gathered from the device will not be admissible in a contested divorce, uncontested divorce, or Virginia family law courtroom. However, the peace-of-mind knowing your partner is cheating is really all most people want when using a tracking system.

Related Content: GPS Tracking Laws By State

Electronic Tracking Device Penalty In Virginia

Let’s say you want the truth right away and you do not care what the penalty is. What is the worst that can happen if you put a vehicle tracker inside or outside an automobile you do not own without the consent of the registered owner of that vehicle? According to Virginia law, the electronic tracking device penalty in Virginia is a Class 1 Misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $2,5000.

Electronic Communication Laws May Change

After hearing about the case, Virginia House Delegate Joe Mayproposed legislation (HB2032) that would make the use of electronic devices such as GPS trackers a misdemeanor offense when used without the knowledge or consent of the vehicle operator. Of course, the proposed legislation also states that police agencies, people owning the title to a vehicle, probation/parole officers, and Dept. of Correctionsworkers would still be able to use tracking equipment to perform police GPS trackingapplications. The proposed law would also allow parents to use vehicle monitoring devices and teen tracking solutions on their children who are under the age of 18 and operating a motor vehicle.

The bill was making its way through the General Assemblywhen last reported.

It is important to note that some states have passed legislation outlawing some forms of vehicle monitoring and some states have simply brought it to the public’s attention that no laws exist that make GPS monitoring illegal However, anyone who uses a GPS car tracker should make the appropriate and responsible steps about finding out what the local laws are in their area of intended use before investing in a tracking device. People interested in using vehicle monitoring technology in Fairfax, Virginia Beach, Prince William, Loudoun, Henrico, or any other county in Virginia should consult legal counsel in their area of residence, or contact local law enforcement about the existence of any laws pertaining to GPS tracking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are GPS tracking devices legal to use on vehicles owned by someone else in Virginia?

Yes, in Virginia, it is generally illegal to use a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without the consent of the owner. The use of a tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person or object without their consent is considered unauthorized tracking and violates their privacy rights.

Can law enforcement officers in Virginia secretly track the movements or locations of individuals without their consent?

No, law enforcement officers in Virginia must obtain a search warrant before using GPS tracking devices to monitor the movements or location of individuals. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures, including the use of GPS tracking without proper authorization.

What are the consequences of illegally tracking someone’s vehicle in Virginia?

Illegally tracking someone’s vehicle without their consent in Virginia is a violation of their privacy rights and may result in legal consequences. If found guilty, the person responsible for the unauthorized tracking may face criminal charges and penalties under Virginia state laws.

Are there any exceptions to the GPS tracking laws in Virginia for specific situations?

Yes, there are exceptions to the GPS tracking laws in Virginia. For example, in cases involving domestic violence, child safety, or investigations related to criminal law, law enforcement officers may use GPS tracking with proper authorization or in emergencies to ensure the safety of individuals involved.

How do the GPS tracking laws in Virginia compare to federal laws on tracking devices?

While Virginia has specific state laws regarding GPS tracking, federal statutes also come into play. The United States Supreme Court, in the case of United States v. Jones, ruled that attaching a GPS tracking device to a vehicle without the owner’s consent constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. This ruling applies nationwide, including Virginia, providing additional protection for individuals against unauthorized tracking

This article is in no way shape or form a representation of the laws that could pertain to the laws in your area, and should not be considered legal advice!

Matthew Henson
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