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Tracking Devices

Unlawful Installation of a Tracking Device

If the motor vehicle is in your spouse’s name or your spouse is leasing it, it is a crime to install a tracking device (LoJack) in or on it.   If the vehicle is in your name or leased by you, you may install a tracking device.  But be aware,  installing a LoJak in your spouses car that is in your name, may be legal but probably not a good idea if your spouse finds out about it and then, in due course, the court.

Unlawful installation of a tracking device is a Class A misdemeanor and will subject the perpetrator to civil liability.   It is presumed that damages are incurred upon proof.

V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 16.06 – Unlawful Installation of a Tracking Device

(a) In this section:

 (1) “Electronic or mechanical tracking device” means a device capable of emitting an electronic frequency or other signal that may be used by a person to identify, monitor, or record the location of another person or object.

 (2) “Motor vehicle” has the meaning assigned by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.

 (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.