Texas Penal Code 16.06 – Unlawful Installation of Tracking Device
WHAT IS UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
A person commits unlawful installation of a tracking device by installing a tracking device on another person’s motor vehicle without permission.
WHAT IS THE UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 16.06. UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE.
(b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly installs an electronic or mechanical tracking device on a motor vehicle owned or leased by another person.
(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the person:
(1) obtained the effective consent of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle before the electronic or mechanical tracking device was installed;
(2) assisted another whom the person reasonably believed to be a peace officer authorized to install the device in the course of a criminal investigation or pursuant to an order of a court to gather information for a law enforcement agency; or
(3) was a private investigator licensed under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, who installed the device:
(A) with written consent:
(i) to install the device given by the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle; and
(ii) to enter private residential property, if that entry was necessary to install the device, given by the owner or lessee of the property; or
(B) pursuant to an order of or other authorization from a court to gather information.
(e) This section does not apply to a peace officer who installed the device in the course of a criminal investigation or pursuant to an order of a court to gather information for a law enforcement agency.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
Unlawful installation of a tracking device is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for unlawful installation of a tracking device, a Class A misdemeanor, is up to one year in jail, and a maximum fine of $4,000.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
As an alternative to jail, a person may be convicted of unlawful installation of a tracking device and placed on probation for up to two years. A person may also avoid a conviction by pleading guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) to a judge in exchange for up to two years of deferred adjudication community supervision.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The statute specifies it does not apply to peace officers conducting a criminal investigation or gathering information for a law enforcement agency. It also lists three affirmative defenses available to a person accused of unlawful installation of a tracking device. A person may attempt to show he or she:
- obtained the effective consent of the vehicle owner or lessee before installing the device;
- assisted a peace officer who had legal authority to install the device;
- was a licensed private investigator with written consent by the vehicle owner or lessee to install the device, or with authority pursuant to a court order.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for unlawfully installing a tracking device, a Class A misdemeanor, is two years.
UNLAWFUL INSTALLATION OF TRACKING DEVICE IN TEXAS
It is illegal to put tracking devices in or on others’ vehicles without permission. Criminal cases are commonly brought when a spouse or significant other suspects infidelity, or if one person is stalking another. In fact, unlawfully installing a tracking device may be used to prove the elements of stalking.
- Werner v. State, the defendant was convicted of stalking, and the State’s evidence showed the victim found tracking devices on her vehicle placed there by the defendant. No. 01-11-00464-CR (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2014, no pet.).
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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