Electronic Tracking Devices in Virginia

Several years ago, Virginia’s legislature clarified the legality of using an electronic tracking device to monitor someone without their permission.

Virginia Code § 18.2-60.5. “Unauthorized use of electronic tracking device; penalty” was passed during the 2013 session.

Part A of the statute reads:

“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 and without consent, and uses such device to track the location of any person is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.”

A class 3 misdemeanor in Virginia is not a jailable offense. However, it is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.

There are a number of exceptions under the statue which would make the installation of an electronic tracker legal.

The law does not apply in the following scenarios:

  1. The tracker is placed by a law-enforcement officer, judicial officer, probation officer, parole officer, or an employee of the Department of Corrections engaged in the performance of their official duties.
  2. A parent or legal guardian of a minor is tracking that minor.
  3. A legal representative is tracking an incapacitated adult.
  4. An owner of a fleet of vehicles is tracking those vehicles.
  5. An electronic communications provider when the installation has been disclosed in a document made available to the customer.
  6. A registered private investigator acting in the normal course of his business with consent of the owner of the property upon which the electronic tracking device is installed and placed.

However, this exception does 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 reasonably should know, that the client is using their services to aid in the commission of a crime.

If you have questions about the use of an electronic tracking device in Virginia, please contact the attorneys of Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at (804)423-1382 or email us at info@wmmlegal.com.