January 24, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

In one of the most important criminal appeals decisions by the high court in years, the United States Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement cannot place a GPS device on or within your vehicle without your knowledge unless they first obtain a search warrant. The police and prosecutors argued that this was not an unconstitutional invasion of a persons privacy to use such a GPS device to track the whereabouts of a person.

In a shocking development ALL NINE JUSTICES ruled that the police and prosecutors were violating the constitutional rights of persons when they failed to first obtain a search warrant to track a person by use of a GPS device. The justices split on their reasoning but all nine agreed that the police could not legally continue to do this.
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Some of the justices concluded that it was definitely an invasion of a persons “privacy” rights under the constitution. The majority of the justices concluded that this was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment to our constitution and as a search required the police to obtain a search warrant.

It is very gratifying to know that even with the majority of our current Supreme Court being “conservative” on most criminal law matters, that they were willing to see that secretly putting a GPS device on your vehicle just is not legal under our constitution. One of the justices went so far as to say that putting a GPS device is similar to allowing the police to track every cell phone call you make or to monitor every Google search you do the internet. This justice said that the government cannot do these things as they are in violation of every persons privacy rights.

I hope everyone is as happy about this decision as we are at Wallin and Klarich.
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The protection of our clients rights is why Wallin and Klarich exists. This new decision will help us in our daily battle with prosecutors to see that justice is done.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this important decision.

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