HB 1981; exceptions for investigators
On March 16, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 1981, making it a Class 3 misdemeanor for any person to install or place an electronic tracking device without permission of the owner of the vehicle or to cause an electronic tracking device to be installed and use such a device to track the location of any person.
The new legislation contains some limited exceptions, including one for Virginia state registered private investigators. A caveat against such use by private investigators is that their client not be subject to a restraining order.
Nicole Bocra, ISPLA’s executive committee member and a founder, worked closely with the Virginia Professional Investigators Political Action Committee and its lobbyist to achieve this result. Pertinent excerpts from the measure are:
Unauthorized Use of electronic tracking device; penalty.
“Any person who installs or places an electronic tracking device through intentionally deceptive means and without consent, or causes an electronic tracking device to be installed or placed through intentionally deceptive means without consent, and uses such device to track the location of any person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
“The provisions of this section shall not apply to the installation, placement, or use of an electronic tracking device by:
“…a registered private investigator. as defined in section 9.1 – 138, who is regulated in accordance with section 9.1-139 and is acting in the normal course of his business and with the consent of the owner of the property upon which the electronic tracking device is installed and placed. However, such exception shall not apply if the private investigator is working on behalf of a client who is subject to a protective order…, or if the private investigator knows or should reasonably know that the client seeks the private investigator’s services to aid in the commission of a crime.”
A copy of the bill is available here: GPS Bill Signed by Governor
– Bruce Hulme, ISPLA Director of Government Affairs www.ISPLA.org
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