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GPS Tracking, 4th Amendment and George Orwell: "Big Brother" issue to be heard by United States Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court is back in session and the docket seems to have a criminal law focus this term. Issues before the Court in the pending cases include several 4th amendment cases involving search and seizure. The Court will decide cases regarding warrantless GPS tracking by law enforcement, routine strip searches for minor offenses and whether defendant's in criminal cases have a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel if not informed of a potential plea agreement.

In United States v. Jones, No. 10-1259, the Court will determine whether a warrant is needed to place a GPS tracking device on a suspects vehicle. If no warrant is needed, then GPS devices could be covertly placed on vehicles and drivers could be tracked without their knowledge. It reeks of the government acting as "Big Brother." This is a very slippery slope. If this type of tracking is allowed, where does the government's power to track us end? The possibilities are virtually endless.

My first thought was "will the government track driver's with probationary or hardship licenses. In Indiana, driver's who have had their driver's license suspended for drunk driving (DUI/OWI) or are Habitual Traffic Violators, can petition the Court for a probationary or hardship license. These types of licenses allow a driver to drive to and from work, and for any work related purpose. If warrantless GPS tracking is allowed, will the government track driver's with probationary licenses to make sure they are taking the most direct route to work? Will information be gathered to determine how long the driver's car was parked at work?

If you, a friend or family member have questions regarding GPS tracking, probationary or hardship licenses, or other criminal defense questions, please contact Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer at (260)426-6666.