Your criminal attorney in King County wants you to know about important legal concepts that affect your case. Search and seizure occurs when the police suspect a crime, conduct a search, and take property as evidence. The definition of a lawful search is not simple given today’s high-tech surveillance and tracking devices.
Does the use of GPS technology constitute a search that would require legal restrictions such as a warrant? Many laws and courts do regard the installation of a global tracking device to be a search. As such, it could only be used if certain legal standards are met, such as showing the relevance of the property to the case, or showing reasonable suspicion of its use in a crime.
Other legal standards apply to the tools and techniques used in a property search. For instance, does the technology enable police to gather or record evidence from inside a home? Does it enable gathering information that would otherwise require a physical property search? Is the technology used by the general public? What is the depth and breadth of thr information collected?
A related topic: What restrictions should be placed on the police when they search a computer? Think of all the personal information that is stored on a computer and its connected components and devices. Warrants for computer searches should be written with details about what methods and goals are used to keep the search purposeful and avoid a “fishing expedition.”
Keeping up with technology
In the early days of computers, the law viewed technology by comparing it to older systems. A computer was like a giant filing cabinet. But today’s devices have changed the quality as well as the quantity of information that might be searchable on computers, tablets, and smartphones, via connectivity, media file sharing, and the latest applications and networks. The availability of spying equipment and more capable surveillance technology raises many new questions for law enforcement and the courts.
These issues are being reassessed and updated on a regular basis as technology continues to advance. Be sure to put a legal expert on your side who knows the laws and court cases regarding what is permitted in search and seizure of property. Call South King County criminal attorney , a top criminal attorney in King County, at (253) 709-5050.