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What law would you actually violate if......
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GlennGoat
lvl.4
Flight distance : 7 ft
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United States
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My friend was confronted by local law enforcement (they were very nice and probably more curious than anything).  So it got us thinking.  If anyone violates FAA rules such as flying above a populated area (or any of the variouis other rules), what is the actual law that is being violated, 107? Can they legally confiscate the drone?  If it's a federal law - do the local law enforcement enforce these laws?  Can they write a summons or arrest?  Has anyone actually been fined or arrested or had their drones confiscated? Just trying to get a feel for how law enforcement are treating these drones now that there are more of them. This is not for commercial flying - just hobbyist.  
2017-9-4
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QuadKid
Captain
Flight distance : 482349 ft
United States
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Look Here

https://www.faa.gov/uas/

And Here

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/xyga8a/faa-drone-fines
2017-9-4
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ALABAMA
Captain
Flight distance : 10356965 ft
United States
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Probably depends on where you are and how bad the complaints are.  Most people don't even hear it at 200 ft.  A lot of law enforcement use them now too, which works in our favor.
2017-9-4
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GlennGoat
lvl.4
Flight distance : 7 ft
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United States
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ALABAMA Posted at 2017-9-4 07:45
Probably depends on where you are and how bad the complaints are.  Most people don't even hear it at 200 ft.  A lot of law enforcement use them now too, which works in our favor.

Thanks for the quick replies.  Lots of help.
2017-9-4
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Capt Whitefoot
lvl.4

United States
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I spent the first half of my life doing dirty work for a homicide detective in Orange County.  Usually they try to detain you while one of them tries to call their sergeant with a "we caught this person but don't know what we can do" phone calls.  Virtually in the U.S., if they can't find a law, they can "accuse" you of a violation in which you have no choice but to go to court and testify that the cop was lying.  Fishing for a violation is common among police today.  Most don't know the law as well as they should.  WORST OF ALL is when they try to "escalate the situation" whereby they will try to upset you to the point of saying or doing something you shouldn't, AND THEN charge you for something stupid that they themselves incited.  

YOUR BEST BET is to remain calm, remain polite, and most of all, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and maintain your actions within them.
2017-9-4
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Mark The Droner
Captain
Flight distance : 2917 ft
United States
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If you're flying your drone as a hobbyist, you should be following Public Law 112-95 Sec 336.  FAA has asked local law enforcement for help enforcing these laws.  Yes, people have been fined and arrested and their drone confiscated.  Hope this helps.  
2017-9-4
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Capt Whitefoot
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United States
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ALABAMA Posted at 2017-9-4 07:45
Probably depends on where you are and how bad the complaints are.  Most people don't even hear it at 200 ft.  A lot of law enforcement use them now too, which works in our favor.

Most drones are less noisy than the average lawn mower or leaf blower, yet nobody complains about "noise" when someone is cutting the grass.  I think many people jump to negative conclusions when they see something "new", and instead of having a rational talk with the operator, they call 911.
2017-9-4
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rangemaster7286
lvl.2
United States
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The vast majority of law enforcement officers know little about drone regulations/laws unless  there are specific state laws on which they have been trained...and have no clue about the difference between hobby and Part 107 operations. As more drones are in the air it's normal for 'concerned' members of the public (who don't have a clue) to report drone activity.

The most common reports we see out here by the public to LEOs involve enroute overflights of private property (like we could see anything from 200'). While Oregon does have drone laws they primarily deal with public agency use and admissibility of evidence (without a warrant).

The basic rule is 'be the nicest guy in the room'...it works for me. Explain what you're doing, answer questions, but be firm. It works for me, and a positive encounter with law enforcement will go a long way the next time Joe Citizen thinks something needs an officer present.
2017-9-9
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fansb79afd5d
lvl.2
United States
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You have a very wide leway as hobbyist flier. As long as you're not being a nuisance (like buzzing rooftops  or stalking hotties) you're fine.  When over populated areas stay high and keep it moving! I do a lot of night flying and my light kit makes my Phantom look like a plane when I have it up near 400'. Of course you don't want to be near any large crowds of people (street fair, concert, sports game) without permission from the event manager.  Just use common sense and follow the few rules we have.
2017-9-9
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fansb79afd5d
lvl.2
United States
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You have a very wide leway as hobbyist flier. As long as you're not being a nuisance (like buzzing rooftops  or stalking hotties) you're fine.  When over populated areas stay high and keep it moving! I do a lot of night flying and my light kit makes my Phantom look like a plane when I have it up near 400' so most people don't even know it's a drone. Of course you don't want to be near any large crowds of people (street fair, concert, sports game) without permission from the event manager.  Just use common sense and follow the few rules we have.
2017-9-9
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iFlyMyDrone.com
First Officer
Flight distance : 740548 ft
United States
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Many local municipalities pass laws governing where drones can take off and land.
2017-9-9
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RedHotPoker
Captain
Flight distance : 165105 ft
Canada
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Check your own local regulations and bylaws...


RedHotPoker
2017-9-9
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Genghis9
Captain
United States
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Simple terms the FAA has sole jurisdiction of the airspace, and local law does not, however, they can choose to assist the FAA in enforcement but it will come down to a federal matter.  Meaning the FBI will have to take over from the local LE.  For example you can fly over a nuke power plant, local LE has no jurisdiction, yet they can be called to apprehend you and then hold you for the federal authorities.  BTW this happened to a glider pilot a few years ago.
Now the FAA has established a 400 foot zone, surface to 400, where we can operate freely with some circumstantial restrictions.  If while operating there and we are stalking, committing peeping tom actions, being a public nuisance, landing & taking off on prohibited land, trespassing, etc. etc. then local LE can arrest or fine you for those actions.  
So as others stated, check your local laws, be a good neighbor, and use common sense.  If confronted by LE be professional and proper be nice...don't be stupid.
2017-9-9
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E.finlay
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1868366 ft
United States
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#1 Don't get legal advice from an on line drone forum.  #2.  See #1
2017-9-12
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Epicdoom
Second Officer
Flight distance : 340620 ft
United States
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Unfortunately I've run into many law enforcement officers who don't know laws they are trying to enforce. just one example I bought a scooter for the wife to run to the local grocery store on I made sure of all the laws as far as where is can be ridden helmet laws tag and registration laws all of them. Well I take it out for a spin one day and was pulled over for not having a tag the officer was very indignant about being right on the tag issue. In Maryland if a vehicle is 49CC or lower it doesn't require registration or tags so happened the scooter was 49CC stamped right into the metal motor case. lucky for me I cover my arse on everything and obtained a letter from the state police saying I didn't need to register or tag it. after an hour of detainment supervisor called to the scene and several phone calls, my local law enforcement got some good old fashioned Schooling. this is one of many times Law enforcement didn't know the law they were trying to enforce. Don't get me wrong I'm not against the police in fact just the opposite I fully support them, But many do not know the law. I wouldn't take any chances Get it in writing. I do the same thing with Firearms builds I do I get a letter from the BATF for everything. You must take responsibility and do that to cover your Arse
2017-9-12
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