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Phillip J. Murphy Attorney at Law New City Criminal Defense Attorney
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Can You Be Arrested For Flying Drones In New York?


While drones were once a strange novelty, they are now incredibly common across the United States. An entire hobby has sprung up devoted to these devices, and civilians love flying their drones around the State of New York. Drones have also seen extended use in the military – and we could see much more of them in the near future. But what happens if you’re caught flying your drone in the wrong place? Is it true that you can be arrested for flying drones illegally in New York? If so, what kind of penalties might you face. Perhaps most importantly, how can you defend yourself in the most efficient way possible?

Two New York Men Arrested for Flying Drones Over Chemical Plants 

If you’re still under the impression that flying drones is no big deal, just consider a recent story involving two New York men. These individuals were arrested for flying drones over three chemical plants in Louisiana. These plants were owned by companies such as Dow Chemical, Linde, and Air Liquide. The last names of these individuals would suggest that they are of Eastern European descent, which probably creates all kinds of concerns over foreign espionage – especially during the current tensions with Russia. These individuals were charged with three counts of “unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft.”

Because they attempted to hide their drone in a field prior to their arrest, they were also charged with evidence tampering. The former offense is a federal crime, and it is governed by Federal Aviation Regulations. It seems as though these individuals did the intelligent thing – refusing to answer any questions before being released on bond.

Where Are Drones Illegal in New York? 

The City of New York bans all drone flights within the city. If anyone sees you flying a drone, they can immediately call 9-11 on you. Generally speaking, you are only allowed to fly drones for recreational purposes unless you have a license. This means that taking photos and footage for research or business purposes is strictly prohibited. You are only allowed to fly at or below FAA-authorized altitudes. Flying anywhere near an airport is an extremely bad idea, as it will almost certainly result in legal consequences. You should also be aware of restricted airspace near you. Whether they knew what they were doing or not, the aforementioned New York individuals likely faced arrest because the airspace above the chemical plants was restricted.

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in New York? 

If you’ve been arrested for any drone-related offense, you should get in touch with a New York criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience – Look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Although this might not seem like a big deal at first, the truth is that New York takes these matters very seriously. With our assistance, you can fight for your rights and strive for the best possible results in a confident manner. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy.


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