The drone industry is already a billion-dollar business, and it is estimated
that these devices will add over 100,000 jobs to the U.S. economy within
just a few short years. We see tons of models of drones available on the
market today, and they will probably be one of the most popular gifts
of this holiday season. Before taking to the air, it’s important
to know the laws currently in place to avoid legal trouble.
General Operation Guidelines
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the agency that governs and
enforces the laws regarding drones of all types in the United States.
In August of this year, they passed sweeping legislation to update the
rules regarding drone operation and set a standard. First, all drone pilots
must be registered with the FAA for a small fee (though this may be overturned
with a pending lawsuit).
Second, drones are not allowed to operate in many places, including around
or over large groups of people, sporting events, or natural disasters/emergency
sites. However, the legal definitions of these terms as well as “over
people” are not very well-defined and to this day are being contested.
Third, you must keep your drone under 400 feet above the ground and within
your line of sight to prevent a possible crash from not being able to
see where your drone is. This applies even when flying in “first-person
view” or “FPV” mode, which is also growing very popular.
Camera Drone Laws
Many drones are equipped with cameras to allow for aerial photography and
videography on an inexpensive and easy-to-operate level. But be careful
using these drones around private property, such as homes or residences.
California is the only state in the country that currently has a which
prohibits flying above anyone else’s property with the intention
of capturing any photo, video, audio, or other form of recording. This
does not apply to public spaces where privacy cannot be reasonably expected,
but shooting through the window of a home can be considered a breach of privacy.
Have you run into legal trouble from operating a drone? Because of the
ambiguity of the laws and the federal nature of these offenses, it is
strongly advised you seek out an experienced Modesto criminal defense
attorney. At the
Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner, we may be able to help. Attorney Girdner is a former Deputy District
Attorney with experience in federal law. His unique insight into the thought
processes of a prosecutor gives him an advantage when formulating your
criminal defense that few other legal advocates can offer.
Get help with your charges today if you have been arrested for flying your
drone; call the Law Offices of Mark W. Girdner today at 209.326.1533 and
ask to receive a