Planting a tracking device in an errant spouse's car may help you to gather important evidence that you may use during a divorce. However, consider the potential legal ramifications before you engage in such an escapade. Here are four questions whose answers may determine whether the monitoring is legal:
Do You Own the Car?
In most cases, it is legal to install a GPS and track a car's movements if you own it. Therefore, if your spouse is driving your car, then you may get away with tracking it. In all states, a car is yours as long as it is registered in your name. In community property states, a car registered in your spouse's name may still be your car because you are considered joint owners of all property acquired during marriage (with a few exceptions).
Where Do You Live?
Where you live is important because states have different approaches when it comes to spousal tracking. Moreover, these rules are constantly evolving because courts tend to decide such cases as they come forward. This is one of the cases where it is advisable to consult a local lawyer since he or she is likely to be conversant with local case precedents.
Was It a Precursor to a Crime?
Another factor the courts may consider is your intention when installing the tracking device. This is important because it may have a bearing on what you do after collecting the data from the GPS monitor. For example, if the data spurs you into committing a crime, then the court may not be lenient when considering whether your installation of the monitor was legal.
Consider an example where you suspect that your spouse is unfaithful to you, then you install a monitoring device and then assault him or her once you have the proof. In such a case, it would be difficult to view your GPS monitoring favorably. This is especially true if your state hasn't enacted a clear law governing these issues.
Where Was the Car When You Installed the Tracker?
Lastly, it's also important to the courts where the car was located when you (or the person doing the installation) were installing the monitoring device. You would have a good case if you did the installation when the vehicle was in your home or a public place, such as a parking lot. However, if it was on private property, such as your spouse's partner in adultery, then the installation and eventual monitoring is illegal.
As you may suspect by reading the discussions above, these cases can get extremely complicated. Therefore, it is best to consult a lawyer, such as those at the Law Office of Jeffrey Dragon, before playing detective and planting a tracking device in your partner's car. However, an attorney can also help you to defend yourself if you have been accused of illegally tracking your spouse.Share
18 September 2015
There are so many legal situations that you can find yourself involved with, but do those situations really require that you hire an attorney? Some instances you may not need an attorney working with you, but in other situations, an attorney is definitely a necessity. This blog contains tips and advice for working through the different elements of the legal system. You will find information that can help you determine if/when you need to hire an attorney to represent your best interests. Knowing this information can help you avoid the costly mistake of taking on the legal system without someone who knows how the system works.