Tracking Your Spouse Might Not Be Legal Even If You Own The Vehicle.
(Updated 25 January 2019)
- 1 Typically An Important Issue Is Ther Ownership Of The Vehicle.
- 2 But remember two things here:
- 3 Read This Wife Tracking Saga And Think Before You Act
- 4 It’s not Clear From This Article Who Owned The Vehicle
- 5 Criminal Stalking Doesn’t Require a GPS
- 6 The Police (and the courts) Are Going To Err On The Sice of Caution
- 7 But The “Perry Mason” Type of Legal Determination Doesn’ Always Apply.
- 8 So before you engage in any activities that might constitute stalking, better think twice.
I get question after question, all based on one common theme.
A husband wants to know if tracking his wife’s vehicle without her consent is legal.
Sometimes a wife or girlfriend writes me to ask similar questions about her husband’s vehicle, but typically the males of the species are more assertive or even aggressive on this issue.
Here’s something my lawyer makes me write: I have many years of professional experience in the GPS Tracking world but I am NOT a lawyer (or a marriage counselor). The information presented here is personal opinion only, NOT legal advice. If you need a professional, consult one.
Typically An Important Issue Is Ther Ownership Of The Vehicle.
In general, you can track any vehicle you own.
If a car is titled to both the husband and wife, maybe it’s legally safe to track it at will. Or maybe it’s not.
After all, under the law, your spouse is a legal owner just as you are and his/her rights are protected by the law, just as you would want yours protected.
Ine common misconception is, it doesn’t matter who is PAYING for the car, it matters whose name or names is on the title.
If the car is owned by someone else and you don’t have permission to track it, it’s almost certainly illegal to do so.
But remember two things here:
I am not a lawyer.
If you’re thinking of doing something which might be illegal, you NEED an attorney’s advice FIRST. Not after you’ve gone and done it.
Even if it is legal in your particular situation to use a GPS track your spouse, there are many other issues which can get you in big trouble.
Read This Wife Tracking Saga And Think Before You Act
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) –Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Thursday in connection to allegations that he harassed and stalked his estranged wife to the point that she became fearful for her life
The suspect in the case is also accused of putting a voice-activated recording device and a GPS tracker in and on the woman’s vehicle.
Danny Carter was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a third-degree felony stalking charge Thursday. He was released from the jail later that day after he posted a bail amount of $10,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, an ACSO deputy was contacted by Carter’s estranged wife on August 28, who told him that Carter had been stalking and harassing her, her family, and her friends. She also said that she was currently in the process of filing for divorce and that she has a standing temporary restraining order on Carter.
The woman told the ACSO deputy that Carter had sent her an e-mail that morning that caused her to fear for her life. She also said the e-mail concerned her enough that she now feels like she needs to carry a weapon to protect herself, the affidavit stated.
On Sept. 11, another ACSO deputy contacted the first deputy about the report on Carter that was on file. The alleged victim called the sheriff’s office on that day to report that she found a voice-activated recording device attached by Velcro behind the driver’s seat of her vehicle that apparently was recording any audio coming from inside the vehicle, the affidavit stated.
The alleged victim said that she had received several e-mails from Carter that contained snippets of conversations she has had in that vehicle, the affidavit stated.
The woman also said she felt like that was an invasion of her privacy.
In addition, the alleged victim told the ACSO deputy that Carter has sent her several e-mails advising her that he knows of her exact location and that he messaged the city names and street addresses to her, the affidavit stated. The also woman told the deputy that she thought Carter had planted some kind of GPS device on her vehicle, the affidavit stated.
An ACSO deputy inspected the victim’s vehicle and found a black magnetic box under the right rear wheel well, the affidavit stated. When he opened it, he found what he knew to be a GPS tracking device.
According to the affidavit, the woman told the deputy that she was afraid that Carter might try to kidnap her and harm her in some way.
She also allegedly expressed concern that Carter will try to hurt the people she is seeing and talking to.
Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.
It’s not Clear From This Article Who Owned The Vehicle
And truthfully, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.
Mr. and Mrs. Carter were having domestic difficulties.
Mr. Carter decided, for whatever reason, that he should track Mrs. Carter’s movements and also snoop on her conversations.
I assume Mr. Carter felt he had a good reason for these actions, but look where he is now.
Criminal Stalking Doesn’t Require a GPS
Tracking your spouse, with or without GPS, may not be legal at all.
Texas, as many other states do, has quite effective “anti-stalking” laws.
Especially when an estranged husband is involved with allegedly stalking his wife, the standards of proof to justify an arrest of the alleged stalker under these laws are often quite low.
The Police (and the courts) Are Going To Err On The Sice of Caution
For example, in the story quoted above, Mrs. Carter did not have to furnish proof that her husband actually installed the tracking and listening devices. They could have been installed by anyone, but in a practical sense, who else would have done it?
Mrs. Carter was the one who reported finding the listening device all on her own. No corroborating witnesses, no proof of chain of custody of the evidence (the listening device).
There are literally a half-dozen or more different reasons that a good lawyer might have gotten Mr. Carter “off” on the charges.
But The “Perry Mason” Type of Legal Determination Doesn’ Always Apply.
The fact that Mr. Carter quoted conversations that he could only have overheard from the illicit device was more than sufficient probable cause for his arrest.
If I was one of the arresting officers it would have been more than sufficient probable cause for me, too. I’ve seen far too many battered or even murdered wives and girlfriends resulting from domestic violence.
Apparently, the Angelina Country Grand Jury agrees with me, because Mr. Carter was brought before them and indicted on charges of stalking and unlawful interception of oral communications, $10,000 total bond
Maybe when Mr. Carter Goes trail a lawyer may “get him off” on one or both charges, but guess what?
He’s already gone through the humiliation of an arrest and booking and incarceration, plus the grand jury indictment. These facts can never be removed from Mr. Carter’s record, even if, in court, he might “beat the rap”.
So before you engage in any activities that might constitute stalking, better think twice.
GPS tracking may be the least of your worries because stalking or eavesdropping might be far more serious offenses. Read more here:
Tracking Your Spouse Might Not Be Legal Even If You Own The Vehicle.