Issues with geofence warrants

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Those suspected of a crime have constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures. In most but not all instances, the police must acquire a proper warrant before conducting a search. Certain cases in Louisiana may involve questions about geofence warrants. These warrants center on procuring information from search engine companies, and there could be serious questions about whether material obtained from such a warrant is credible.

Geofence warrant concerns

A significant concern about geofence warrants is their overly broad nature. With such a warrant, law enforcement may try to procure information from a search engine requesting data related to devices within a particular geographic area. For example, a geofence warrant might request information about devices used within a specific geographic parameter if a car theft or bank robbery occurs.

So, if someone searched for a particular suspicious term during a timeframe within a defined location, the police might narrow their suspects down to them. The warrant might reveal several people performing suspicious searches seemingly connected to the crime.

Accusations and geofence warrants

Concerns about geofence warrants often focus on the fact that these warrants do not address a suspicious individual. Instead, the warrants cast a wide technological net to gather information about anyone in the area at a particular time. So, someone commuting through the area via a rideshare trip might face police questioning and need to address unexpected criminal defense matters.

Evidence obtained by questionable search warrants may end up suppressed in court. A jury will not see suppressed evidence, which could undermine a case against the defendant. In some situations, a case might still be weak even when the procured evidence is presented.

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