U.S. Supreme Court Issues Privacy Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court recently released its decision in U.S. v. Jones. The case dealt with privacy issues and modern technology. The police placed a GPS tracking device on the defendant's car without a warrant. The vehicle's location was then tracked for nearly a month. The government argued that drivers have no expectation of privacy on public streets and that GPS surveillance is no more intrusive than being tailed by a police car. The Court disagreed, holding that the GPS device and the tracking was a search and the failure to have a warrant was in violation of the 4th Amendment. The decision by the Supreme Court was unanimous.

Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., a leading criminal defense attorney in the State of Rhode Island and former prosecutor, was recently quoted in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly regarding this case. The article quotes Attorney Humphrey as saying "I think the court, by taking this case, is showing that they are concerned with keeping up with the changing technologies. " The decision, written by Justice Scalia, acknowledges changing technologies and how they are used. In this case, the physical placement of the GPS on the car amounted to trespass onto the defendant's property. The concurring justices expressed concern about evolving technologies which do not require a physical trespass in which to monitor a defendant, but that it can be done through electronic signals, such as using a Smartphone. The issue of technological advances and their affect on the rights of citizens will likely be before the Supreme Court again in the near future.

If your or a family member have been charged with a criminal offense, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

Related Posts
  • Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Read More
  • URI Students Arrested After Super Bowl Read More
  • Northern Rhode Island Gambling Arrests Read More