We all know that Google Maps does many useful things. It can get you from point “A” to point “B” quickly and safely. When you get to point ‘B” it can tell you where to spend the night, enjoy a hot meal, fill up the tank, catch a movie, and where to find the local landmarks. But did you know that Google Maps can also save you from getting ticketed by the cops and getting tossed in the slammer?
Google Location History can save you (jail) time and money
Now I’m no attorney, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express yesterday. But if somehow Chalmers could prove both things (that he never parked his car at the car park the cops named, and that his car was never used on that fateful day), we’d expect the court to drop all charges. So the defendant sought evidence from Mr. Maps, also known as Google Maps. And by accessing his Google Location History, Chalmers was able to show the court a timeline of his locations over the last few days, weeks, and months.
Chalmers dove even deeper. “The picture they sent me showed me driving back to the main road… Another picture showed me giving way at a junction. They said I’d overstayed in the car park by three hours. This wasn’t true – I didn’t use the car park. I had only been to the drive-through.”
He continued by noting that “I used my Google Location History to hit back against their claims. It shows what times and places you have been to and how long you have been driving. I appealed and showed them the evidence and they had no choice but to drop it.”
Chalmers recommends to others that they have Location History enabled. He says, “I won, but a lot of people might not be in the same position. You have to turn on your Google Location History for it to work. I recommend other people use it to save themselves paying a fine they shouldn’t have been given.”
You’re not doing anything wrong by using Google Location History to prove that you were not in the place that the cops claim you were at during a certain time. Google Location History is disabled by default so you will need to enable the feature to allow it to prove your innocence. To do that, open Google Maps on your phone and tap the profile pix on the upper right side of the display.
Tap on Google Location Settings and Location Services followed by Google Location History. Select the Google account you want to use. On the page titled Activity controls, you’ll see Location History. Make sure it is turned “on” because Google Location History could do for you what it did for Jamie Chalmers: prove that you’re right and that the cops are wrong.