GPS Tracking Laws In Ohio – Legal Guide For Tracking Vehicles In OH
Are you thinking about buying a GPS device to catch a cheating spouse? Or maybe using GPS tracking devices to make sure employees are doing what they are supposed to be doing? If so, you are probably concerned about the legality of using an electronic surveillance tool such as a hidden GPS tracker. In this article, we will go over some important details you need to know when it comes to GPS tracking law in Ohio. Let’s dive in!
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Supreme Court Of Ohio Ruling On GPS
State v. Johnson Warrantless GPS Tracking
In 2011, a Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy placed a tracker on a suspected drug trafficker’s vehicle to conduct electronic tracking. The background investigation determined that the suspect was in fact in possession and selling drugs. However, the suspect argued that his fourth amendment was violated when law enforcement used a warrantless GPS. The court ruled in favor of law enforcement and the Ohio Supreme Court would hear the oral argument. What the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled was the same as in the lower court of appeals in that the police who used the tracker without a warrant did so in good faith that their actions were legal. The evidence from the GPS tracking device was deemed admissible (as it was during the trial courts), and a new precedent was set with Ohio law.
Related Content: Is It Legal To Track Your Spouse?
Track A Spouse In The State Of Ohio
If you believe your spouse might be having an affair you probably considered investing in a hidden camera or spy apps for cell phones to record text messages. But the reality is the best way to catch a cheating spouse is with a GPS tracking system. However, how a person uses video surveillance or hidden GPS devices will determine if the act itself is legal or illegal. For example, a person can’t go onto the property of a private citizen and place a tracker inside or outside of the vehicle. Nope! That would be considered an illegal act since the placement of the device occurred on private property. But what about equipping a GPS to a car when the vehicle is not on private property?
When the Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy placed a GPS device on a suspected drug trafficker’s car he did it when the car was on public property so as to not break federal laws related to searches and seizures. He also made sure that the device was on the outside, not the inside of the vehicle, as it would require a search warrant to enter someone’s vehicle you do not own. So what does all this mean for tracking a cheating spouse?
- If a person owns the vehicle they can track it legally. It is their property.
- You can not place a GPS inside a car without the owner’ of the vehicle’s permission.
- If a vehicle is on public property, you can place a tracker on the outside of the car.
As you can see from above, the circumstances really determine if it is legal to put a hidden GPS on someone’s vehicle in Ohio. However, it is also important to note that the Supreme Court decision could also change as the legal issue and laws concerning the use of electronic surveillance continue to evolve. That is why we encourage you to contact a lawyers association in the area where you intend to use any electronic tracking system and not consider this article’s legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to use a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle in Ohio without their consent?
No, it is illegal to use a GPS tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person or their property without their consent in Ohio. Ohio Revised Code 2903.211 prohibits the unauthorized use of electronic tracking devices to track someone’s personal vehicle without their knowledge or consent.
Can law enforcement officers use portable GPS trackers without a warrant in Ohio?
Yes, law enforcement officers in Ohio can use portable GPS trackers without a warrant under certain circumstances. In State v. Johnson, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers do not need the warrant to use GPS tracking devices to monitor a suspect’s vehicle if the device is placed in a public location.
Yes, Ohio has laws related to GPS tracking of cell phones. Ohio Revised Code 2933.51 prohibits the use of electronic communication devices to track the location of a person without their consent. This law also requires law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant before tracking the location of a suspect through their cell phone.
Are there any laws in Ohio that allow employers to use GPS tracking devices on their employees?
Yes, Ohio allows employers to use GPS tracking devices on company-owned vehicles to monitor employee activity during work hours. However, Ohio Revised Code 2917.21 prohibits employers from using GPS tracking devices to track employees’ personal vehicles or activities outside of work.
GPS Tracking Laws Ohio – Legal Disclaimer
As you peruse “GPS Tracking Laws in Ohio,” kindly bear in mind that this material serves an educational purpose. Unquestionably, it does not purport to be a source of legal counsel.
Transitioning from the general to the specific, you must understand that this article does not extend or propose legal services. Furthermore, it is crucial to refrain from construing the contents herein as legal advice. With this in mind, it is incumbent upon you to engage a duly licensed attorney, well-versed in this complex area of law, for any legal guidance you may need.
In closing, it is pertinent to acknowledge the fluidity of law; the legal landscape continually evolves. This article, therefore, may not capture all the nuances of the current legal position. Hence, no liability shall attach to us for any action undertaken, or not undertaken, in reliance on the information presented herein. In legal matters, the safe bet always is to solicit professional counsel.
- GPS Tracking Laws In Ohio – Legal Guide For Tracking Vehicles In OH
- Supreme Court Of Ohio Ruling On GPS
- Track A Spouse In The State Of Ohio
- Is it legal to use a GPS tracking device on someone’s vehicle in Ohio without their consent?
- Can law enforcement officers use portable GPS trackers without a warrant in Ohio?
- Are there any laws related to GPS tracking of cell phones in Ohio?
- Are there any laws in Ohio that allow employers to use GPS tracking devices on their employees?