Well, I may be a couple of days late to the party on this issue, but it appears that after a UNANIMOUS 9-0 decision by The United States Supreme Court(SCOTUS) our Fourth Amendment Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government may not be dead after all. (However, many will agree that it may be on life support.) SCOTUS recently ruled [in United States v. Jones] that an unlawful search occurred when law enforcement physically attached a GPS tracking monitor to an individual’s car without a warrant.
From a local viewpoint here in Northwest Florida, the criminal defense bar had begun to encounter these antics anywhere from Panama City (Bay County) to Pensacola (Escambia County). Now, based on the Jones Decision, our local law enforcement will be required to validate these actions with a probable cause affidavit rather than being permitted simply to embark on a”fishing expedition” for illegal activities.
More intriguing to the criminal defense bar may be the future ramifications of the Jones decision. Keep in mind that the traditional notion of an illegal search or seizure entailed a physical aspect of intrusion(i.e. a search of a home and its contents, a search of a vehicle, or a search of an individual). However, the Jones decision may open up the non-invasive searches (RFID’s, Cell Phones, E-mails)to attack under the Fourth Amendment. The future of the Fourth Amendment and the expectation of privacy appear to be in flux. Nonetheless, one thing we can bank on is that as technology evolves so shall the Fourth Amendment.
If you have been arrested and charged with criminal offense or feel that you may have been the victim of an unlawful search or seizure you may want to consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer. For those individuals who reside in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, DeFuniak Springs, Santa Rosa Beach, Okaloosa County or Walton County feel free to contact my office at (850)460-2989 or visit my website https://keichlaw.com for more information.