US Supreme Court Rules Satellite Monitoring Constitutes a Search for Sex Offenders

The United States Supreme Court in Grady v North Carolina, held on March 30, 2015 that the North Carolina’s satellite-based monitoring program (the equivalent of California’s GPS system) of sex offenders constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. They remanded the case back to the state court to determine whether this search was unreasonable.

What does this mean for sex offenders here in California? This case probably does not impact people on parole or on probation. If a condition of probation or parole requires a person to wear a GPS, the court will find that to be reasonable for the same reasons that they allow search and seizure conditions. Once off probation/parole, any rule that requires sex offenders to wear a GPS unit may be unconstitutional. Currently, there is no requirement that a person off parole/probation wear a GPS here in California.

As the law develops, there are likely to be more changes to the requirements imposed upon people who are required to register under Penal Code section 290. Stay up to date by following this blog at written by prominent sex offender attorney in Sacramento, Michael Chastaine.