Skip to navigation

Can Police Track A Criminal’s Cell Phone Without a Warrant?

Brian J Smith May 20, 2013

To have a warrant or not to have a warrant?

That is the question facing U.S. legislators in regards to whether police must obtain a search warrant to track cell phone GPS of criminal suspects. As advancements in technology are made every day, the rules are changing. The question is: are they changing for the better?


Some argue that obtaining a warrant is unnecessary, as mobile phone users voluntarily provide their location by simply using a cell phone.

Others believe that GPS tracking, or “pinging,” violates a user’s privacy privacy. Many people that use cell phones are most likely unaware that their location information is traceable without a warrant, therefore the information should not be accessible to the police.

The issue has already been tried in courts with varying results. Overarching legislation for or against cell phone GPS tracking has yet to be implemented, so to be safe, consider your phone as trackable from anywhere.

If you feel your privacy has been violated, seek help from a criminal defense lawyer. Call Brian J. Smith at 702.380.8248 for more information or to set up a consultation.

Main photo by Coreyu