Virginia GPS ban-limited PI exception
- On March 16, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 1981, making it a
Class 3 misdemeanor for any person to install or place an electronic
tracking device without permission of the owner of the vehicle or causes an
electronic tracking device to be installed and uses such device to track the
location of any person.
The new legislation contains some limited exceptions, including one for
Virginia state registered private investigators. A caveat against such use
by private investigators is that their client not be subject to a
Nicole Bocra, ISPLA's executive committee member and a founder, worked
closely with the Virginia Professional Investigators Political Action
Committee and its lobbyist to achieve this result. Pertinent excerpts from
the measure are:
Unauthorized Use of electronic tracking device; penalty.
"Any person who installs or places an electronic tracking device through
intentionally deceptive means and without consent, or causes an electronic
tracking device to be installed or placed through intentionally deceptive
means without consent, and uses such device to track the location of any
person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to the installation,
placement, or use of an electronic tracking device by:
...a registered private investigator. as defined in section 9.1 - 138, who
is regulated in accordance with section 9.1-139 and is acting in the normal
course of his business and with the consent of the owner of the property
upon which the electronic tracking device is installed and placed. However,
such exception shall not apply if the private investigator is working on
behalf of a client who is subject to a protective order..., or if the
private investigator knows or should reasonably know that the client seeks
the private investigator's services to aid in the commission of a crime."
A copy of the bill is available here: GPS Bill Signed by Governor
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
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