Only a handful of state courts have specifically addressed the issue of GPS tracking. As far as what the state courts have determined, it is generally okay to put a GPS on a vehicle that is registered to you. The next question is whether the person wanting to install a tracker is the registered owner of the vehicle.
This is only a factor if you are doing your GPS tracking in the handful of states that have determined it to be illegal for anyone , including P. In most states, a non-licensed P.
What is the relationship between the person doing the tracking and the person being tracked? Are they married?
Are they divorced or separated? Are they in business together? Again, if the person who is doing the tracking owns the vehicle, they are usually going to be okay putting a tracker on the vehicle.
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Why can a licensed P. The answer comes down to the issue of stalking.
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Stalking : A pattern of conduct that includes following,. In order to become a licensed private investigator in most states, one has to first pass background investigations by the state law enforcement and the FBI. It also makes it okay for him to surreptitiously follow someone shadow around as they go about their daily activities. These activities would be considered stalking were the private investigator not licensed and carrying out his work with a permissible purpose.
In recent years, most states have applied and extended their current stalking laws to the use of GPS tracking and this approach actually makes sense. A licensed private investigator is not usually necessary in this type of situation. However, if the couple is separated, or if there is some sort of court order in place Protection Order, Restraining Order, Anti-Stalking Order , it would not be a good idea for anyone including the P. However, in most states, she could hire a licensed private investigator to place a GPS tracker on the vehicle as the P.
Child Custody : A common concern is when a parent believes that the other parent is acting irresponsibly, illegally or in some way endangering their children. Now, you or your P. Basically, if the vehicle does not belong to you, you cannot personally put a tracker on the vehicle.
However, in most states, it would be legal for a licensed private investigator to place a GPS tracker on a vehicle, as long as he has a permissible purpose good reason to do so. Here is what the courts have generally determined. If you own the vehicle, you can install a GPS tracker on that vehicle and have it powered off of that vehicle. However, if you hire a P.
Some GPS trackers have internal batteries and some have to be hooked up to an external battery. Most of the time, a GPS tracker will be installed on the outside of a vehicle, underneath the vehicle. It only takes a moment for to place the vehicle under the car and it is usually attached by a magnet. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.
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If you have a legal issue, you need to speak to a lawyer. The goal of this site is simple; to be the most-trusted and best source of information about every aspect of private investigators and private investigations, whether you are looking to do your own private investigation or considering hiring a private investigator. Paul Baeppler is currently a full-time police lieutenant with 25 years on the job.
He also runs several private investigation and security businesses, licensed in Ohio, California and New York. To start with, in many cases, the legality depends on answers to the following questions: Where : Where geographically is the GPS tracking being done? Why: Why is the GPS tracking wanted? What is the purpose of the investigation? Who : Who i s putting the GPS tracker on the vehicle? Who is the Client? Who is the person being tracked?
What: What is the relationship between the person doing the tracking and the person being tracked? How : How is the GPS tracker mounted on the vehicle? How is the GPS tracker powered? How will the GPS tracker be installed? When: When will the GPS tracker be installed? Where geographically is the GPS tracking going to occur? Most states have not specifically addressed the issue of GPS tracking. In some states, the issue has been specifically addressed and they have passed laws allowing virtually no GPS tracking with the exception of law enforcement with a warrant.
In still other states, they have determined that GPS tracking is not allowed unless you either own the vehicle, or you have hired a licensed P. You have reason to believe that your ex-husband is leaving your 4-year old son home alone while he goes out drinking with his buddies during his visitation weekend.
You are considering asking your girlfriend to get married, but you have concerns recently that she is seeing her ex-boyfriend behind your back. You are wondering who your ex-wife is dating because you are still obsessed with her.
Is GPS Tracking Legal?
You have a court-ordered protection, restraining or anti-stalking order against you. We, as the private investigator, just have an odd feeling about the client. Why is it legal for a P. Stalking : A pattern of conduct that includes following, harassing, or threatening another person.
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Stalking versus Investigating A P. When it is legal for a P. How is the GPS tracker mounted on the vehicle? Paul Baeppler. The goal of this site is simple; to be the most-trusted and best source of information about every aspect of private investigators and private investigations, whether you are looking to do your own private investigation or considering hiring a private investigator Paul Baeppler is currently a full-time police lieutenant with 25 years on the job. Popular Posts Searching for a P. The Process of Hiring a P. Topics Background Investigations 1.
Be Your Own P. Best in Class 1. Book Reviews 1. Bug Sweeps 2. Cheating Spouse 1. Child Custody 1.
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Common Fears 1. Concerns 1. Growth is expected to increase, too, according to projections by the state. It is expected to increase by Fifty-three percent of this growth is projected to be due to the creation of new private investigator jobs in Texas with the remainder being due to the replacement of people leaving the work force. It had the fifth highest level of employment of any metropolitan area in the country in Houston had the tenth highest level of salaries of metropolitan areas in the U.
Salary information from the BLS for the two largest cities in Texas is listed below:. To become a private investigator in Texas, a license is required from the Texas Private Security Bureau. Applicants must be able to qualify as the manager or owner of a PI firm. If they do not meet these requirements, they must first train with a PI agency. The BLS predicts that employment in this profession will grow by 21 percent by , resulting in 41, private investigators working in the United States.
Given the sheer number of private investigators working in the U. However, of those 5 states, 2 have licensing requirements at the local level: Wyoming and Alaska.
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Those states without licensure for private investigators at either the state or local level—Idaho, Mississippi and South Dakota—all have active professional associations that have defined bylaws and codes of ethics. Membership in these private investigator associations provides a clear set of standards for the practice of private investigation. Further, regardless of the absence of state license requirements, private investigators operating businesses are always subject to applicable business laws. Further, a select number of states allow private investigators to carry weapons; as such, mandatory firearms training, certification, and certification renewal are commonplace.
However, because each state has their own legislation regarding the practice of private investigators and private investigative businesses, licensure requirements and the licensing process varies from state to state. Generally, minimum requirements for state licensure include: being at least 21 some states have age requirements as old as 25 ; possessing a high school diploma or the equivalent; and have U. Most states also have strict statutes prohibiting candidates who have felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving crimes of moral turpitude from becoming private investigators.
Some states, such as Oklahoma, allow candidates with no experience to become licensed, provided they complete CLEET-approved training. For example, Arizona private investigator licensure is handled by the Licensing Unit of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, while private investigators in California are licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
However, some states have an entirely different process for licensure, such as Pennsylvania, which requires candidates to contact the Clerk of Courts in their county of residence to request a court date and apply for licensure. Specifically, commercial surety bonds, which are designed for non-contract items, are often needed to obtain a license as a private investigator.