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Haddonfield Criminal Lawyers Discuss Bill That Will Restrict the Use of Aerial Drones

New Jersey lawmakers have advanced a package of three bills that will restrict the use of aerial drones within the state. Drone owners will be required to register their devices in a national database and could face criminal charges if the new rules, which were announced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are not followed.

The three bills advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety committee are as follows:

  • S-3183: Surveillance of or flying over critical infrastructure is considered a fourth degree crime. Certain types of drones must be registered with the state.
  • S-3174: When selling drones, retailers must notify customers of FAA safety guidelines.
  • S-3175: Certain drones are required to contain “geo-fencing” technology that will keep the devices from flying over restricted areas. Violating the restriction is a fourth degree crime.

The proposed new laws are in response to an increasing number of people using these unmanned drones for a variety of uses. Hobbyists typically use them for recording high definition videos, while insurance companies have used them to assess properties and conduct surveys.
State Senator Peter Barnes (D-Middlesex) said that the use of unmanned drones needs to be regulated and steps put into place to prevent abuses. According to an analysis by NJ Advance Media, New Jersey is one of the top ten states that reports improperly flown drones. Several reported incidents at airports and refineries have lawmakers taking a closer look at this issue.

Supporters of the bills emphasize the importance of any safety measures that would protect New Jersey against possible terrorist threats. For example, a drone recently landed on the property of a Middlesex County chemical facility and, while no harm was done, it raised questions about what law enforcement can and cannot do.

Others feel that the proposed legislation is too restrictive. Brendan Schulman, an Essex County resident and vice president of a drone manufacturing company, feels that the legislation’s definition of critical infrastructure is too broad, including bridges, highways, refineries and hospitals. In addition, according to Schulman, drone use can create jobs and improve the technology of businesses like insurance companies. If the technology were more widely available, he said, the insurance claims process after Hurricane Sandy could have been much more efficient.

Currently, the bills await a vote from the full Senate. Two of the three bills have been amended to include exemptions for those who are authorized to fly drones from the FAA.

Haddonfield Criminal Lawyers at The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Protect the Rights of Individuals Using Aerial Drones in New Jersey

 If you have been charged with illegal use of aerial drones, contact our Haddonfield criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio so that we may provide you with the skilled and aggressive defense you need to successfully fight the charges. For a confidential consultation, call us today at 609-230-0374 or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Moorestown, New Jersey and we serve clients throughout South Jersey and Cherry Hill, including all of Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Salem County.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

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