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Harassed in PA

We covered this situation already.
Ok then I might have forgotten, sorry about that. Specifically I meant the logs and the interpretation of the logs as a factor. Binoculars don't have records so the "victims" are not going to be able to ask for verification about what you have seen or looked at. Personally I would rather get hooked up then sit down and review my contents and my logs on the scene with an officer and the victim. Obviously the circumstances will dictate what I ultimately do but the victims are pretty savvy and they know what to ask for. And when I heard you say something along the lines of "show me the [details] or else....[negative conclusion] which really concerned me that once again drones are unfairly thrust into this space where we don't belong.
 
Not so fast there 😁

Who decides, in a society ruled by law, what is "unjustified" in those cases toward the edge?

With all sorts of people with different values, priorities, and opinions, there is very little black and white, and mostly gray.

So, when a homeowner feels @mavic3usa was invading their privacy under CA law, and he doesn't, how is this dispute resolved?

It must be, in some way that results in peaceful resolution. Otherwise, things often escalate, and sometimes people get hurt.

That's the entire point of "rule of law". All parties in a dispute almost never all agree on the outcome, but we all agree on the process to arrive at a resolution and to live with it, which is what makes a civil society.
I might be in the minority but I don't believe drone owners should end up thrown into the legal process when they believe they have done nothing wrong and the homeowner believes they have. There will always be gray areas but when the grey area is much larger than the black and white areas combined, something is broken.

I believe the current interpretation of the laws (whether we talk about drones or camera or binoculars, etc) will allow both the police and the courts to make a solid and reasonable interpretation that everyone should abide by. I realize invasion of privacy is a tricky subject but I believe we all have done the best we can with it because....freedom; and that makes a lot of people unhappy so it kinda seems like invasion of privacy is not quite right which leads many to get it wrong. When drones get involved and people's feeling get involved, this becomes a new problem because pretty much everything is "wrong." Sorry I have a negative viewpoint on this but in 2023, nobody likes drones and that includes half the drone owners. Sometimes I feel like it's just a matter of time before I get jammed up.
 
A lot of writing for no reason.

My take on how this scenario plays out: You are PIC and have descended into someone else's yard, and are hovering 12" from a window, camera clearly pointed straight inside. Occupant calls the police. RID allows them to catch you.

Regardless of your protestations, LEOs are not going to spend a bunch of time reviewing logs they don't understand on the spot. That's what court proceedings are for. You will be cited and charged.

You will then have an opportunity in court to defend yourself, making your case as you have attempted to here. First in an arraignment, where you can try to convince a judge, and when that predictably fails, you can have a jury trial if you want to push it that far, but I predict your success there will be highly unlikely.

What you seem to keep missing in this endless back and forth is you live in a society with other people, and their views count every bit as much as yours.

And when it comes to drones hovering outside their windows, I really don't think the general public sees this anywhere close to the way you do.

So arguing the technical details of flight logs, RTH, etc. may get some notice here, but in front of the drone-hostile public they don't care. What animates them is the fact you were looking inside their house without their consent.

And you will be convicted. My opinion.

So, better to not do that.
 
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I might be in the minority but I don't believe drone owners should end up thrown into the legal process when they believe they have done nothing wrong and the homeowner believes they have.

This really seems to elude you.

Why should you prevail because of what you believe? The other party believes you have.

Not all crimes require mens rea. There is the "common man" standard that applies in some crimes, basically saying it's something that can be presumed a person should know is wrong, even if they haven't been told explicitly.

Like I said, law is mostly gray, very little black and white. If the latter, we wouldn't need judges a juries. Computers could do it.
 
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A lot of writing for no reason.

My take on how this scenario plays out: You are PIC and have descended into someone else's yard, and are hovering 12" from a window, camera clearly pointed straight inside. Occupant calls the police. RID allows them to catch you.

Regardless of your protestations, LEOs are not going to spend a bunch of time reviewing logs they don't understand on the spot. That's what court proceedings are for. You will be cited and charged.

You will then have an opportunity in court to defend yourself, making your case as you have attempted to here. First in an arraignment, where you can try to convince a judge, and when that predictably fails, you can have a jury trial if you want to push it that far, but I predict your success there will be highly unlikely.

What you seem to keep missing in this endless back and forth is you live in a society with other people, and their views count every bit as much as yours.

And when it comes to drones hovering outside their windows, I really don't think the general public sees this anywhere close to the way you do.

So arguing the technical details of flight logs, RTH, etc. may get some notice here, but in front of the drone-hostile public they don't care. What animates them is the fact you were looking inside their house without their consent.

And you will be convicted. My opinion.

So, better to not do that.
Wow, this is why we don't need drone specific laws.
 
This really seems to elude you.

Why should you prevail because of what you believe? The other party believes you have.

Not all crimes require mens rea. There is the "common man" standard that applies in some crimes, basically saying it's something that can be presumed a person should know is wrong, even if they haven't been told explicitly.

Like I said, law is mostly gray, very little black and white. If the latter, we wouldn't need judges a juries. Computers could do it.
I'm not eluded. I'm right.
 
I dunno about the libertarian paradise of south King County, but in Seattle, for example, there are broad and explicit bans on a long list of things on school property when school's out, and they're not shy about listing things they don't like. For example:
  • Use or possession of alcohol and tobacco (ironic, in this place where you can see people openly smoking crack and fentanyl on any street corner every day).
  • Use or possession of firearms or weapons.
  • Radio, audio speakers, musical instruments (leave those bagpipes at home, MacDuff!)
  • Open fires, open flames, fireworks, and cigarettes
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (drones)
Not to beat a dead horse, but just wanted to add a note to this sub-discussion.
Yesterday 3 of us met up at the elementary school in Federal Way (Washington State) where we occasionally fly our Avata's through the playground equipment and climbing wall.
School is starting next week, so we knew this would be our last chance to fly during the week until next summer - we had a blast by the way! But the staff was there getting their rooms ready for Monday, so there were people in the building for the first time since we started flying at this location.
I had just drained my 2nd battery and was landing to change to a fresh one, as I took my goggles off I noticed a woman approaching with a big smile. My first thought was "oh oh."
To make a long story short, it was the school principal who thought we were from the district, surveying for a new addition to the school! She was a bit disappointed but laughed as we explained what we were doing, and that we were taking advantage of the last week of not having students present. She told us to enjoy ourselves and the use of the school grounds. A very nice interaction.

And in contrast, an hour later we had moved down to the waterfront near Brown's Point and we were flying our camera drones when a drunken, dangerously aggressive fisherman chased us away from our launch point. With doubled up fists and slurred speech he kept demanding to know who the **** we were, interspersed with "I hate drones!" before pulling out his phone, pretending to call the police while recording us as we packed up and drove down the road a bit.
My 3rd Karen in a decade.
As with the other 2 Karens, I doubt this one has the IQ to figure out and bother with a drone tracker.
 
This may be helpful (or not) in providing evidence that you were or were not guilty- depending on how you fly- RID modules, such as Dronetag’s, also save a flight log.
 
What's wrong with flying from home?
Nothing wrong with it, I just choose not to do it because 1) I don't want my neighbors to know anything about what I am doing especially with a drone, 2) I never usually fly over my neighborhood so it doesn't make sense to fly from home when I have other very-accessible locations nearby to fly from and 3) I know people are going to disagree with me on this one but when RID goes live, your home address (because you take off from there) will [eventually] be made public because I'm not so naive as to believe the RID data collected is secure/encrypted/secret/etc since someone somewhere somehow is going to capture it which means they can publish it.
 
Greetings from NW Pennsylvania. I've been a recreational flyer for about 5 years now and own several drones. We live in a rural area and I fly mostly out of my backyard. In the past 2 weeks I have been visited by the PA State Police twice concerning my drones. It seems I have been hovering at some ones window and even entered their barn with my drone. This person provided my name to the officers (I assume they got it from my mailbox) and has decided that it must be me because they have seen me operating a drone in my yard. I informed the officers that if necessary I can show him my flight logs to prove it wasn't however I am getting tired of being guilty by 'association' and they better have proof that it is me if they visit again. How many other pilots have experienced this kind of harassment from their neighbors and law enforcement?
Update. Another incident occurred on September 3 and the PA State police now have my Air 2S. I was filming a hyper lapse video of the sunset when I received a critical battery error (my own stupidity) and the drone made an emergency landing about 400 meters from home. I could see that it had landed on a neighbors property and waited until the next morning to go there and ask permission to search. When I did they told me that they had found it and called the police who came and took the drone. I was happy to hear that it was found and figured that all I needed to do was call, explain what happened, and go retrieve it from them. I made that call on September 4 and was told that the officer involved would have to call me back. I waited a few days without hearing a word then he finally contacted me. He informed me that I wouldn't be getting the drone back soon if at all because there had been other complaints, about drone flyers in my neighborhood. I explained that I could easily prove that there was no malicious intent on my part by showing him the flight logs. I also told him that everything I filmed would be on the memory card in the drone and, if he removed the battery, he would find a sticker with my name, address and phone number on it. He didn't want to hear that though and was very arrogant and downright rude when he told me that he was gathering everyone in the area who had complained and they were taking me to court. When I inquired about a timeline he said that he couldn't even start the 'investigation' until he gets off of 3rd shift. Its been a month and he still has not started the investigation. Since then I've done some research and found that civil forfeiture laws exist that allow them to keep property indefinitely even if there are never any charges or arrests made. My conclusion: You can be guilty by association in this country when I always thought that you were innocent until proven guilty.
 
Update. Another incident occurred on September 3 and the PA State police now have my Air 2S. I was filming a hyper lapse video of the sunset when I received a critical battery error (my own stupidity) and the drone made an emergency landing about 400 meters from home. I could see that it had landed on a neighbors property and waited until the next morning to go there and ask permission to search. When I did they told me that they had found it and called the police who came and took the drone. I was happy to hear that it was found and figured that all I needed to do was call, explain what happened, and go retrieve it from them. I made that call on September 4 and was told that the officer involved would have to call me back. I waited a few days without hearing a word then he finally contacted me. He informed me that I wouldn't be getting the drone back soon if at all because there had been other complaints, about drone flyers in my neighborhood. I explained that I could easily prove that there was no malicious intent on my part by showing him the flight logs. I also told him that everything I filmed would be on the memory card in the drone and, if he removed the battery, he would find a sticker with my name, address and phone number on it. He didn't want to hear that though and was very arrogant and downright rude when he told me that he was gathering everyone in the area who had complained and they were taking me to court. When I inquired about a timeline he said that he couldn't even start the 'investigation' until he gets off of 3rd shift. Its been a month and he still has not started the investigation. Since then I've done some research and found that civil forfeiture laws exist that allow them to keep property indefinitely even if there are never any charges or arrests made. My conclusion: You can be guilty by association in this country when I always thought that you were innocent until proven guilty.
My opinion, not legal opinion: Time to get a lawyer and stop listening to the advice given by people on youtube and reddit and the internet in general who says it's ok to.... 🤬
 
My opinion, not legal opinion: Time to get a lawyer and stop listening to the advice given by people on youtube and reddit and the internet in general who says it's ok to.... 🤬
Believe me I'd like to hire a lawyer now and fight this but the fact is I'm retired and on a fixed income. Since I can replace this drone for around $750, (for the drone only), would it really benefit me to pay a lawyer now when their fees are gonna be much higher than that? If in fact they do come up with some bogus charge then I will reconsider it.
 
Believe me I'd like to hire a lawyer now and fight this but the fact is I'm retired and on a fixed income. Since I can replace this drone for around $750, (for the drone only), would it really benefit me to pay a lawyer now when their fees are gonna be much higher than that? If in fact they do come up with some bogus charge then I will reconsider it.
The police and your neighbors appear to be working on some type of bogus charges and it could be months before coming up with anything. I get it takes money to defend yourself but perhaps you can look to the community or to drone organizations for support. Always two sides to any story but it's hard to believe anyone has been committing crimes with a drone else they wouldn't have to wait until they captured your drone to open an investigation. Yep, your drone may be lost, lessons learned and let us know how it goes. Often they come back with some type of minor charge that allows you to plead and give up your drone which is unfortunate but I understand it happens. Best of luck to you, I wish we, as drone flyers, had more backing.
 
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Greetings from NW Pennsylvania. I've been a recreational flyer for about 5 years now and own several drones. We live in a rural area and I fly mostly out of my backyard. In the past 2 weeks I have been visited by the PA State Police twice concerning my drones. It seems I have been hovering at some ones window and even entered their barn with my drone. This person provided my name to the officers (I assume they got it from my mailbox) and has decided that it must be me because they have seen me operating a drone in my yard. I informed the officers that if necessary I can show him my flight logs to prove it wasn't however I am getting tired of being guilty by 'association' and they better have proof that it is me if they visit again. How many other pilots have experienced this kind of harassment from their neighbors and law enforcement?
They have to have substantial proof. (Photos, videos, you name it) Then the police have to verify it was actually your drone etc. They can file a report with the FAA to get this intel, but yeah...if it wasn't you, you have NOTHING to worry about.
 
Has never happened to me and I don't expect it primarily because I don't fly from home; understand why you do since you live rural. Anyway, never talk to police when they come calling with questions. I guess it's ok to answer a few questions to dispel their fears but I would never offer to show my logs on site.

Not trying to be dramatic but just remember, the third time the police could get "fed up" and decide to arrest you and take your drone. Anything from trespassing to harassment to invasion of privacy to a stretch which is disorderly conduct or stalking or video voyerism. That's the world we drone pilots live in; I understand it's rare but it is a possibility. Any charge will likely be dropped but we shouldn't have to go thru all that.
I guess that RID compliance is a good thing to provide proof. It's a shame that people always revert to spying as a reason to complain.
 
Update .... I received a call from Trooper Lewis today and he told me that he will be filing 'unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft' and 'disorderly conduct 'charges against me. The disorderly conduct charge especially blows my mind. I asked him why and he said that it was because 2 other officers had warned me. I never received any warnings from these officers either verbal or written. With my wife battling breast cancer and heart problems this frivolous lawsuit is the last thing I need.
 
Greetings from NW Pennsylvania. I've been a recreational flyer for about 5 years now and own several drones. We live in a rural area and I fly mostly out of my backyard. In the past 2 weeks I have been visited by the PA State Police twice concerning my drones. It seems I have been hovering at some ones window and even entered their barn with my drone. This person provided my name to the officers (I assume they got it from my mailbox) and has decided that it must be me because they have seen me operating a drone in my yard. I informed the officers that if necessary I can show him my flight logs to prove it wasn't however I am getting tired of being guilty by 'association' and they better have proof that it is me if they visit again. How many other pilots have experienced this kind of harassment from their neighbors and law enforcement?
You should be fine if you document and record every conversation with the police. You can also request the information of any complaints against you for your records.

It takes a lot to convict; the police and anyone making a complaint have to be able to document and prove everything.

If you can prove and document using an audio recorder to record each encounter with the officer, this will work in your favor.

The bottom line, is if you weren't doing anything wrong, the law will be on your side as long as you keep everything journalized and you can prove what was said is being said.

Your flight logs can debunk all their complaints. Furthermore, these people making the complaints have to have PROOF. As in videos, photos, pictures of you flying the alleged drone, your RID number (things like that) If they don't have any of this, they cannot charge you.

If it was not you, you have nothing to worry about.
 
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