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Taking By POLICE

Multi-Rotor Pilot812

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perhaps consider letting it go- I know it made you angry, and I would be livid about it too, but personally, I would move on as they have already shown you how they operate and they have more money and lawyers than you can afford...
The problem with “letting it go” is that without accountability and people standing up for their rights under the constitution of the United States specifically unreasonable search and seizure and possibly harassment then rogue law enforcement feels even more free to operate with impunity and unchecked. I say get a specialized attorney and take the case as far as you can if the facts are indeed as you state. Far to many people lay down and accept violations of their rights in this country and it is certainly exacerbating the problem in a big way.
 
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Redleg

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...We need a Pilot who's a lawyer (and a LEO) to chime in on this...
I meet two of those criteria. I am a current pilot and former LEO. I’m not a lawyer but I play one on TV. I said something to this effect in another, recent post here on the forum: police officers in the US seem to have trouble with understanding the Fourth Amendment.

With a couple of exceptions, law enforcement officers may not conduct a search of your person or property without either your consent, probable cause, or a search warrant. Probable cause is a bit more difficult to establish than most people think. Likewise, you are not obligated to speak to the police. The minimum standard that must be met by a police officer to detain you is reasonable suspicion, which has less specific requirements than probable cause, and you may only be detained for a “reasonable amount of time.” The Supreme Court has weighed in on this in the past. It’s generally recognized that a “reasonable amount of time” is 15 minutes. I digress.

If the police in this case didn’t have probable cause to believe a violation of their state/local drone laws were violated, then they didn’t meet the criteria, in accordance with the Fourth Amendment, to seize OP’s property (his drone) as evidence. A seizure of his property for any reason other than evidence to be used in court would be a criminal forfeiture and must be ordered by the court. The trespass charge is weak unless there is a provision in the state’s trespass statute for the airspace surrounding a person’s property.

As technology gets more advanced it will be interesting if you drive a remote controlled car, for example, into someone’s house would that be trespassing? It doesn’t seem like something that should be legal but what would the charge be? Interesting topic.
It is indeed interesting. In order to make a trespassing charge stick, the prosecutor must be able to prove criminal intent. If your remote control car lost it’s remote signal due to circumstances beyond your control (i.e. a hardware issue), did you intend to drive into the house? I’m curious to see if and how legislators plan to address the rapidly changing technological environment.

FAA is encouraging LEOs to help enforce FAA rules.
In a manner of speaking, yes. Local/county/state law enforcement has no jurisdiction in enforcing FAA rules. They can report it to federal law enforcement and assist in the investigation but any citation, arrest, seizure of property, and prosecution of the offense would occur at the federal level.
 
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DroningOn

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ok real quick was flying cops came jump out ther cars sad I was flying illegally as poor 107 flying at night flying over people I didn't say to them that I fly as a hobbyist and that I am able to fly at night I showed him all of my paperwork and they went to the course to try to look for a new law to put on me a little while later they came back Give me a receipt because they were taking my grown in that in three days I can call the office and get the police report three days I won't get the police report it said I am being charged with criminal trespassing three weeks later I received a call that I can come and get my grown when I picked it up they handed me a search warrant for the information they took off of the ST cardAnd then proceeded to tell me that I am not being charged with criminal trespassing they just needed a charge to put on the paper to get the warrant signed from the judge then he proceeded to tell me the rules of a 1070 no flying at night so on and so on and so on so on grandma grown in the papers and walked away before I got really mad
Serious question...... Are you well?
 

Drbobk

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ok real quick was flying cops came jump out ther cars sad I was flying illegally as poor 107 flying at night flying over people I didn't say to them that I fly as a hobbyist and that I am able to fly at night I showed him all of my paperwork and they went to the course to try to look for a new law to put on me a little while later they came back Give me a receipt because they were taking my grown in that in three days I can call the office and get the police report three days I won't get the police report it said I am being charged with criminal trespassing three weeks later I received a call that I can come and get my grown when I picked it up they handed me a search warrant for the information they took off of the ST cardAnd then proceeded to tell me that I am not being charged with criminal trespassing they just needed a charge to put on the paper to get the warrant signed from the judge then he proceeded to tell me the rules of a 1070 no flying at night so on and so on and so on so on grandma grown in the papers and walked away before I got really mad
So this post makes it obvious that you are dictating ("grown" instead of "drone" - that's not autocorrect). You need to say "period" at the end of a sentence, not just pause like you do when talking to a person.
 

GB1Yorkshire1

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The warped logic of the charge of trespass is very difficult if not impossible to prove. A flying drone has every right under FAA rules to fly in unrestricted airspace provided it meets all requirements as to operating height distance from airports etc.
However if a drone hovers with the intent of looking into property other than authorised, then there will be problems.
You cannot trespass by crossing over someone’s property, just think of the implications to airlines or private planes We are covered under the same rules.
 

indyglassman

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You must be using siri to respond.....

It would be helpful if you reviewed the rules on night flying. I'm pretty sure they are the same if you are 107 or not. Regardless, they handled it poorly and I suspect there isn't much you can do. The fact the lied about trespass to get a search warrant seems to be overstepping quite a bit, but again - fighting it would cost too much money and likely won't change anything (IMO).
 

tcope

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99 percent sure this is what happen... police thought they knew the laws that applied but found out they were wrong. They got a warrant to look at the SD card in an attempt to find something that was illegal. Nothing found. Since they now took the drone (illegally if not crime) they needed to come up with some bogus charge to cover their butts.

So, illegally took drone, illegal search warrant and illegal charge. Much easy in their minds than apologizing for making a mistake.

I'd plead not guilty and I suspect that the DA will simply drop the case.
 

Skywatcher2001

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🤔 Or, perhaps the drone flew over all five of them while they were on “official” business and they got worried about what it may have recorded...
Hmmm . . . now that's a thought. Like the old movie "Blue Thunder". 🤔
 

Redleg

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. . . I like this guy.
Aw, shucks.

I just want the members of this community who reside in the US to understand that by piloting a drone, you are not giving up your rights as a citizen of the United States. If you aren’t in the US, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about your country’s laws and I’m not going to speculate. Yes, understanding the FAA’s regulations can be daunting and police officers can be intimidating; but situations like what OP has so eloquently :p described are almost always a result of law enforcement officers doing something to address a perceived violation of a law they think applies. It’s either that, or they knowingly overstep the limits of their authority. In either case, they’re wrong. However...

I do not advocate arguing with the cops at the scene, regardless of whether or not they’re wrong. I speak from experience when I say that’s not a confrontation you want to get into and it rarely ends well. You’ll either have your day in court or the charges will be dropped and your property returned. In either case, you’ll hopefully have an opportunity to meet with the chief law enforcement officer of the agency involved and maybe educate him or her on a subject of which they probably have no working knowledge.

Most of these incidents are because one or more parties involved, whether pilot or law enforcement, hasn’t properly prepared for such incidents by educating themselves on the subject.
 

brett8883

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No one owns the airspace. The FAA is charged with regulating it. They don't own it.
I didn’t say the FAA owned it, I said the Federal Government owns it.

If you can legally say what can and cannot be done somewhere and you can put someone in jail for violating your rules or can and will shoot down an enemy trespassing in or on that property I’d say you own it. We can call it something else if that makes you feel better about it but for all intents and purposes the Government (meaning we Americans collectively) OWN it.

If you still disagree please define “ownership” and how it doesn’t apply in this situation.

It’s really not important you got the point I was making about how trespassing can’t apply in this situation by trying to relate the classic meaning of trespassing and how if it DID apply to this situation (though it doesn’t) the OP still would not have been committing “trespassing.”
 
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GenHumphries

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I was flying my drone from my own property, when as I landed five cops showed up to ask if I was flying. I said yes . They then asked to look at the drone if I would go get it. I did . I gave the drone but held the remote from them, they then as holding my drone started telling me how I was breaking the law. They stated under rule 107 I was flying at night ,and over people. I then told them I flew under a hobbyist rule not 107 rule. I gave them my paperwork and they couldn't say anything. They told me call the station in 5 days and I can get a police report, took my drone and left without fair reason .week past got report it had I criminal trespassed on it. AS of yesterday a month later , I was called to come get my drone from them. Along with the drone I was given a copy of a search warrant that was written the day after for my memory card etc. I was told they now were not gonna charge me for trespassing they needed some crime reason to get a warrant. Has this ever happened to you,? What are your thoughts?
I agree that the PO-PO were quite heavy handed, bu just because you’re not a licensed part 107 pilot doesn’t mean you have extra benefits. You still have to obey the law. It’s very clear, if you’re flying at night, that’s illegal! You can fly within 30 minutes of sunset if you have a flashing light that can be seen from 3 miles away attached to your drone.
While I’m sure you were not intentionally breaking the law, there are a lot of creeps out there, making it bad for the rest of us, by flying around bedrooms at night with their drones trying to get video of people. You may be unaware, but there may and issue they’ve had in your community with that, I don’t know.
Also, what height were you flying at? Even at the legal limit of 400 feet, it’s shocking how low police helicopters are flying these days. Were you above the 400 feet limit? Is it possible you were in an air collision with a police helicopter? Those guys can be crazy! Thoughts?
 
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Mavic Mac

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Well I will go out on a limb and probably put my foot in my mouth - something I seem to be pretty good at. I have always said there are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and the truth. Without actually being there or a participant in the event everything is based on assumption, and we all know what that word does.

If I read the post correctly the original posters has no charges pending.

I could give my opinion (20+ years as LEO) of why the drone was seized, why the warrant was obtained, etc. By like most of the posters I was not there, so it would be pure assumption.
 

brett8883

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I agree that the PO-PO were quite heavy handed, bu just because you’re not a licensed part 107 pilot doesn’t mean you have extra benefits. You still have to obey the law. It’s very clear, if you’re flying at night, that’s illegal! You can fly within 30 minutes of sunset if you have a flashing light that can be seen from 3 miles away attached to your drone.
While I’m sure you were not intentionally breaking the law, there are a lot of creeps out there, making it bad for the rest of us, by flying around bedrooms at night with their drones trying to get video of people. You may be unaware, but there may and issue they’ve had in your community with that, I don’t know.
Also, what height were you flying at? Even at the legal limit of 400 feet, it’s shocking how low police helicopters are flying these days. Were you above the 400 feet limit? Is it possible you were in an air collision with a police helicopter? Those guys can be crazy! Thoughts?
He was flying recreationally and there are no limits on when recreational pilots can fly in uncontrolled airspace as just confirmed by a FAA official in this thread


Oklahoma City FAA:

"The only restriction pertaining to day/night flying for recreational operations who are following all other regulations is that they can only fly at night in G (uncontrolled) airspace. ATC is not allowing any hobby/recreational NIGHT flights in Controlled Airspace. There are currently no night restrictions for ~44809 The Exception for Limited Recreational Operations if operating in Uncontrolled Airspace."

 

Skywatcher2001

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I could give my opinion (20+ years as LEO) of why the drone was seized, why the warrant was obtained, etc. By like most of the posters I was not there, so it would be pure assumption.
Your opinion as a LEO is HIGHLY RESPECTED in this forum. You have every right to a professional opinion as the other 38 posts before you. We all welcome it.
 

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