We’ve all wanted to be able to know where someone is at all times. There’s tracking on our phones, there’s tracking in our cars from manufacturers, and there’s even independent GPS tracking. Many don’t take into consideration the legality of using such GPS tracking systems. We have clients ask if they can attach a tracker to their child’s car, their spouse’s car, or to anyone’s car they want to keep tabs on. Covert Results has done the research and knows the ins and outs of how to legally use a personal GPS tracker. 

In 2004 Antoine Jones was suspected of drug trafficking. Police investigators asked for and received a warrant to attach a GPS tracking device to the underside of the defendant’s car but then exceeded the warrant’s scope in both geography and length of time. The Supreme Court justices voted unanimously that this was considered a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Although they were split 5-4 as to the fundamental reasons behind that conclusion of what constitutes a search; the majority held, that by physically installing the GPS device on the defendant’s car, the police had committed a trespass against Jones’ “personal effects.” This trespass, in an attempt to obtain information, constituted a search per se

Tennessee also has their own statute in regards to electronic tracking devices attached to motor vehicles. According to Tennessee Code Annotated §39-13-606 states: 

(a)  (1)  Except as provided in subsection (b), it is an offense for a person to knowingly install, conceal or otherwise place an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle without the consent of all owners of the vehicle for the purpose of monitoring or following an occupant or occupants of the vehicle.  (2)  As used in this section, “person” does not include the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. 

(b)  (1)  It shall not be a violation if the installing, concealing or placing of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a law enforcement officer in furtherance of a criminal investigation and is carried out in accordance with applicable state and federal law.(2)  If the installing, concealing or placing of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is by, or at the direction of, a parent or legal guardian who owns or leases the vehicle, and if the device is used solely for the purpose of monitoring the minor child of the parent or legal guardian when the child is an occupant of the vehicle, then the installation, concealment or placement of the device in or on the vehicle without the consent of any or all occupants in the vehicle shall not be a violation. (3)  It shall also not be a violation of this section if the installing, concealing or placing of an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle is for the purpose of tracking the location of stolen goods being transported in the vehicle or for the purpose of tracking the location of the vehicle if it is stolen. 

(c)  The provisions of this section shall not apply to a tracking system installed by the manufacturer of a motor vehicle. 

(d)  A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

Attaching a GPS tracker has a lot of legal components. As stated in the predominant case U.S. v. Jones, the police must have a warrant to put a GPS tracker on a vehicle. This also means just anyone cannot put a GPS tracker on any vehicle. Tennessee explains in the statute parents can place a tracker on their child’s car or that placing a tracker on a car for the purpose of locating stolen goods is legal. However, a spouse cannot place a tracker on a shared vehicle without their spouse’s knowledge. If a car is shared by you and your spouse, you cannot place a tracker on it for the purpose of keeping up with your spouse’s whereabouts. Covert Results has the ability to answer any and all questions regarding GPS tracking.

The founder and investigators of Covert Results have extensive experience in using GPS trackers. They have conducted complex investigations and would estimate they have attached upwards of 500 GPS trackers. Our investigators have the experience necessary to deploy GPS trackers but only legally, of course.

Covert Results is a private investigations and armed security company with years of experience. Our team is a group of highly trained individuals who are well versed in all types of investigation matters. We now have a new dedicated office in Clarksville, located with Patton and Pittman, 101 N. Third Street, Clarksville, TN 37040. Covert Results is available to advise on how we could help your case, give pricing for the type of work you’re looking for, and even answer questions on how you could become a trained armed security officer. If you or your attorney find yourself asking about private investigations, professional armed security, or handgun training, please email, call, or visit our website.

contact@covertresults.com  615-861-1680 Covertresults.com

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