Legal Information

Ways Courts Use Technology

July 20, 2017

How do courts use GPS technology to track offenders?

Some states have specific laws that allow judges and law enforcement to use technology in ways that are intended to protect victims of domestic violence.  For example, law enforcement and courts can use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology to track offenders who have committed domestic violence and stalking.  There are two types of GPS tracking – active and passive.  If a judge orders an abuser to wear an active GPS tracking device to monitor an abuser’s location, if the abuser enters a location where s/he is prohibited, the technology will notify you of the abuser’s location and may also be set to notify law enforcement or any court-ordered supervision agency that is monitoring the offender.

 Alternatively, an abuser wearing passive GPS tracking may wear a tracking device 24-hours a day, but only be required to upload his/her location history once a day.  The location history may then be reviewed from time to time by a probation officer or it may be used as a tool by law enforcement if you allege that the abuser violated the order.  Depending on your state, a judge may be able to order GPS tracking in a criminal or civil court case.