Tennessee Domestic Violence Laws – GPS Tracking For Offenders

Tennessee Domestic Violence Laws – GPS Tracking For Offenders

Charged and in jail for domestic violence offense in tennessee

Bail Bond + GPS Tracking

Technology has made our lives much more convenient, we now have a plethora of home computers, laptops, tablets and smart-phones.  Many of these devices are even equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) which helps us to navigate between here and there, and experience augmented reality which is a mix of actual reality and virtual reality.  Of course on the other side of technology coin is the government’s use of this technology to track suspects, or those accused of committing domestic violence.

Effective July 2011, a person charged with a domestic violence offense in Tennessee may be required to attach or carry a GPS device as a condition of bail.

The new Tennessee law allows a magistrate{{1}} [[1]]A magistrate is a judicial officer like a judge, but is appointed for a special task such as setting bail[[1]] the ability to order a domestic violence defendant to be tracked via GPS.  The magistrate may restrict the accused offender to stay within a certain distance from certain locations as dictated by the alleged victim.  If the victim chooses to participate she/he would have a receiver which would provide tracking information if the defendant is within the restricted areas.

In other words in order to be released from jail on bail, a person charged with domestic violence may be restricted from being within a certain distance from several locations, and may be tracked by GPS – the victim, law enforcement, and the magistrate would be notified of any violations.  Of course the defendant would be required to pay for this service – or perform community service if the defendant is indigent.  This may sound like a very positive step towards the prevention of bodily harm or death of an alleged victim of domestic violence.   But, what about the rights of the accused?  A person accused of domestic violence now must not only pay for a bail bond, but may now have to pay for GPS tracking or perform community service – as if he has been found guilty.

[notice]Community service is typically ordered to be performed by a convicted criminal as part of probation or other plea agreements. It is a form of punishment which involves things like roadway cleanup or other such services. [/notice]

Is the new Tennessee domestic violence law constitutional So the question arises: Will this new domestic violence law pass constitutional muster?

It will take some time to see how the high courts will view and interpret the constitutionality of this new restriction.  In the meantime, a person charged with an offense of domestic violence in Tennessee has even more reason to immediately seek the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

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