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Search Warrants And GPS Tracking Devices In California: Penal Codes 1524 and 1534

In January of 2012 the U.S Supreme court held that the government’s installation of a GPS device on a target’s vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle’s movements, constituted a search under the 4th Amendment. This decision meant that law enforcement was required to obtain a search warrant before installing a GPS device on a vehicle.

The California Legislature responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling by passing Assembly Bill 2055 which changed California law to explicitly allow law enforcement to apply to a judge for a search warrant to install a GPS device.

This response by the legislature was intended to conform California law to the Supreme Court’s ruling however the problem is that AB 2055 only “allows” law enforcement to apply for a search warrant but does not “require” them to. So, this new change in California law really has no practical effect. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that law enforcement is required to obtain a search warrant before installing a GPS device on a vehicle and that is the law of the land regardless of California’s response to it.

A criminal charge in California can lead to the loss of your freedom, reputation, and employment. If you or a loved one is accused of a crime contact the California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. Wallin and Klarich has many years of experience successfully defending clients for over 30 years. We will work to aggressively help you and to ensure that your rights are protected. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can be reached by phone at 888-230-6839. We have offices in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura and Orange County. We will be there when you call.

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