You may have read our first blog, “Is It Legal to Install a GPS Tracking Device on Your Spouse’s Car?“, reviewing when installing a GPS tracking device could be deemed legal. In this article, we will discuss what unlawful installation of tracking device is. We will also review the defenses to this charge. Finally, you will learn about the consequences of unlawful installation of a tracking device if you or your spouse get convicted. If you put a tracking device in your spouse’s vehicle without their permission, you could face charges for unlawful installation of a tracking device. On the other hand, if you catch your spouse spying on you with a tracking device, you could have them charged with this crime. Regardless of which situation you face, there is some information that you need about this crime.
In the state of Texas, unlawful installation of tracking device is an offense. This offense tries to deter people from monitoring other people’s whereabouts without consent. Without the owner of the vehicle’s consent to the tracking device, there are still a couple of ways that you can install such a device in their vehicle:
You can face a charge for unlawful installation of tracking device in some cases. This could happen if you knowingly install a mechanical or electronic tracking device on a vehicle that is owned or leased by someone else.
If charged with unlawful installation of tracking device, you need to know what you face. This crime is considered a Class A Misdemeanor. For a Class A Misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in a county jail. You could also face a fine of up to $4,000. These are the most severe penalties that a person can face for this crime. If you hire an attorney, or present evidence at trial to support your case, you could face smaller penalties.
If you face unlawful installation of tracking device charges, you need to defend yourself. Make sure that you can defend yourself in court so as to avoid serious penalties. There are three main defenses that you can use:
Defenses get based on effective consent. This could mean implied consent or explicit consent given by the owner of the vehicle. Either way, you need to get verification in writing or verbally from your spouse. Your lawyer will have to argue this in front of a judge, so having written consent will make it easier. One other defense is that you did not know that you were putting a tracking device in a car. If you did not know that it had tracking capabilities, then you might be able to use this as a defense.
Whether accused of installing a tracking device or you think that your spouse has done this without your consent, you should contact an attorney to assist you. By explaining your situation to an attorney, you can determine if you have a case and what to do next.
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