Use of GPS device by law enforcement ruled unconstitutional

On behalf of Dickman Law Offices, P.S.C. posted in Drug Charges on Monday, May 28, 2012

Law enforcement officers have a duty to protect and serve the public. Although their service is appreciated, they must be careful that they do not overuse their power. After all, citizens of the United States have rights, and those rights must be upheld.

A 49-year-old man was stopped by Kentucky State Troopers on Interstate 75 in September of last year. A large amount of marijuana was found in his car. The man faces drug charges. However, a federal judge recently ruled that the marijuana found in the man’s car is inadmissible in court because law enforcement wrongfully placed a GPS unit on the man’s car without a warrant.

In January, the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to attach a GPS device without a warrant. Although the man was charged prior to that ruling, his attorney said he used it as part of his argument.

Authorities placed the GPS device on the man’s car on Sep. 2 after a witness allegedly told them he was taking marijuana from Chicago and bringing it into Kentucky.

A Kentucky State Trooper was given a description of the man’s car. When the trooper saw that the man was not wearing a seat belt, he pulled him over. A drug-sniffing dog allegedly found 150 pounds of marijuana in the man’s car.

The man was previously convicted of drug and gun crimes. He spent three and a half years in federal prison. If he is convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in this case, he could face more than two decades in prison because of his prior criminal record. However, that seems unlikely at this point since the evidence in the case has been thrown out.

This case illustrates the importance of an individual’s rights as well as the value of a good criminal defense attorney. When someone in Kentucky faces serious drug charges, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is often wise. They will work hard to ensure the rights of the individual are protected.

Source: ABC News, “US Judge: GPS Use Illegal in Kentucky Bust,” Brett Barrouquere, May 24, 2012

Posted in: Criminal Defense, Drug Charges