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Law Enforcement’s Technology and Individual Privacy

As law enforcement adapts new technology for use in criminal investigations, controversy develops over trying to strike a balance between the often conflicting goals of individual privacy and public security. Fourth Amendment jurisprudence has a long and convoluted history demonstrating both the importance of and the difficulty in achieving this particular balance. One of law enforcement’s latest technological advances to come under fire by privacy advocates is a device known as a “stingray.” Stingrays, also known as “cell site simulators” or “IMSI catchers,” operate as decoy cell towers that canRead More …


Civil Forfeiture Evolves

Both the Federal Government and the Virginia Legislature have recently taken steps to rein in the use of civil forfeiture laws.  Civil forfeiture laws grant law enforcement agencies the authority to seize private property suspected of being used in connection with a crime.  Once seized, law enforcement agencies can keep or sell the property for their own benefit—even if the owner of the property is never charged with a crime.  While a property owner can initiate a lawsuit to prove that property was seized improperly, it is a costly andRead More …


Safe Driving and Happy Holidays!

As the holiday season gets into full swing, police departments across the country are increasing their presence on the roadways. Combined with the stress and the increased traffic of the season, this means that more drivers will end up with tickets for speeding, reckless driving, and various other traffic infractions during the next month. It is important to know that in addition to the negative consequences–for example, DMV points, increased insurance premiums, and fines–of a simple traffic infraction, some tickets are also misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses. In Virginia, recklessRead More …