WELCOME TO THE BLOG OF THE LAW OFFICEs OF WILLIAM CHESTNUT, SAN JOSE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
WE BLOG ABOUT CURRENT ISSUES IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW, REPORT ON LATEST NEWS IN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW, AND PROVIDE READERS WITH HELPFUL CRIMINAL DEFENSE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Ruling On GPS Tracking Upholds Rights Of Suspects
The criminal defense system functions both to pass judgment on those who have been convicted of committing a crime and to protect the rights of those who have been accused of breaking the law. By declaring that GPS tracking amounts to a Fourth Amendment search, the Supreme Court insists that law enforcement uphold certain protections that the Constitution affords those targeted by the criminal justice system.
However, legal experts are continuing to debate to what extent the Supreme Court's decision upholds the rights of suspects. Though GPS tracking is now explicitly considered a search, many question whether or not law enforcement must obtain a warrant before affixing a GPS device to a suspect's car without his or her knowledge.
On the one hand, law enforcement is required to obtain warrants before performing most Forth Amendment searches. Some experts argue that because the Court did not specify that GPS searches constitute an exception to this rule, warrants are required for this kind of tracking.
On the other hand, the Court did not indicate whether GPS searches are considered reasonable or unreasonable. If such a search were to be considered reasonable, law enforcement might not need a warrant.
It is unclear whether or not the Court's recent ruling upholds the rights of suspects to a greater or lesser degree. Nevertheless, by declaring that GPS tracking of suspects is indeed a Fourth Amendment search, the Court has advanced the constitutional rights of the accused to some extent.
Scholars observe that further clarification will come as the court decides other, similar cases in the future.
Contact San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney William Chestnut at 408-298-6990 or at williamchestnutlaw.com for assistance with criminal defense matters.