Harold Weinstein charges on sexual assault

Was it legal for the detectives to use a GPS tracking device to locate the defendant in accordance with New York criminal procedure law, and would the evidence acquired from the GPS be used in the case? Does the pen register permit the use of an unauthorized monitoring device by the detectives? Can a court depend on data gathered by an unauthorized tracking device? Should such information be suppressed in court? Should the judge acquit the defendant? Mr. Weinstein, the defendant can argue that the detectives lacked merit to track his cell phone since the detectives had not applied for a pen register for that purpose. The detectives lacked any legal basis to settle for the tracking of the defendant cell phone carrier, while they had applied for a pen register to track the victim cell phone. Moreover, no GPS locator warrant was issued by the court to support the tracking of the defendant cell phone. Mr. Weinstein must, however, establish that his right for privacy was intruded by the detectives, who tracked his location using his cell phone carrier without a warrant. The right of the exclusion of evidence under the Fourth Amendment can be relied on by Weinstein to argue his case.


The detectives obtained a pen register and a precision GPS locator of the victim cell phone, but not for the defendant. However, after unsuccessful finding of the victim’s cell phone, the detectives abandoned the GPS locator and turned to cell phone carrier of Mr. Weinstein, the defendant. Reasonable suspicion mainly issued a pen register and that the detectives believed that relevant information would be obtained from such a warrant. It was not granted to apprehend Mr. Weinstein, but on the basis that the data collected from the pen register would find the connection between the defendant and the crime. Mr. Weinstein was apprehended not in connection with the "crime committed," but by location. Mr. Weinstein can argue that the information obtained from the pen register lacked relevance to the case in question and therefore evidence seized should be suppressed.


Under the NY criminal law 705.10, a pen register is issued upon establishment of reasonable suspicion, 705.10 (2), (McKinney and McKinney’s 432). The detectives were issued with the pen register and GPS locator warrant to track the victim cell phone, which was claimed to have been “stolen” by the defendant. The court issued the warrant believing that the tracking of the victim cell phone would help the detectives in locating the “offender” and finding the connection between the crime committed and the offender. However, the detectives unsuccessfully tracked the victim cell phone, and they resulted in tracking the "offender’s" phone calls. Tracking the defendant’s cell phone calls which were unwarranted, did not help the detectives to find the connection between the defendant and crime committed since the victim cell phone was not found.

Although the detectives can argue that there was probable cause led to the unwarranted search, the information obtained from the investigation cannot be relied on to indict the defendant. This can be borrowed from the People v. Weaver case, where the court determined that use of GPS to track a person without a warrant is illegal and unenforceable (Ruebner and Ralph 92). Moreover, unlike the 8251/2015 Brooklyn New York case, the detectives obtained an order to locate the victim's cell phone. On this particular case, the court held that it couldn’t suppress evidence obtained from the unwarranted GPS tracking since it helped locate the accused. However, in Weinstein case, the detectives got pen register and GPS warrant for the victim cell phone. The GPS tracking failed, and the detectives were resulting in tracking the defendant cell phone calls.

The detectives intruded on the right of privacy of the defendant, by tracking his cell phone illegally. As stated in the States v Jones case, evidence obtained from unwarranted GPS should be suppressed and excluded from the case as it falls under the Fourth Amendment, (Lively, Donald, and Broyles 508). The Fourth Amendment states that’s evidence obtained from unwarranted search intrudes one’s privacy and it’s illegal. Weinstein can use Riley V California case to argue that his privacy was intruded and the Fourth Amendment should take its cause. Moreover, the United States v Katzin case is relevant to the Weinstein case.


Using the above-stated reasons, Mr. Weinstein has a chance to suppress the evidence obtained from the unwarranted search by the detectives, by applying exclusion as applied in the U.S Fourth Amendment. The defendant can argue that the pen register issued by the court, did not mean search warrant for his cell phone calls but the victim's cell phone. Moreover, the evidence obtained was illegal since the officers intruded his privacy illegally.

Works Cited

Bailey, Carlton. Criminal Procedure: Model Problems and Outstanding Answers, 2015. Print.

Borene, Andrew M. The U.s. Intelligence Community Law Sourcebook: A Compendium of National Security-Related Laws and Policy Documents. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Association, 2010. Print.

Goehl, Thomas J. Jury and the Search for Truth: The Case for Excluding Relevant Evidence. Place of publication not identified: Diane Pub Co, 1995. Print.

Lively, Donald E, and D S. Broyles. Contemporary Supreme Court Cases: Landmark Decisions Since Roe V. Wade. , 2016. Print.

McKinney, William M. Mckinney's Consolidated Laws of New York, Annotated: As Amended to the Close of the Legislature of 1916. St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co, 1916. Print.

Ruebner, Ralph. Illinois Criminal Trial Evidence. St. Paul, Minn: Butterworth Legal Publishers, 1986. Internet resource.

Smith, Cary S, and Li-Ching Hung. The Patriot Act: Issues and Controversies. Springfield, Ill: Charle

Snape, John. New York State Criminal Procedure and Penal Code 2016. S.l.: LULU COM, 2015. Print.s C. Thomas Publisher, 2010. Print

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