What are the Maryland Drone Laws and What happens if I am charged with a crime while operating or possessing a drone in Maryland?
Maryland Drone Laws Defense Attorney Randolph Rice 410-288-2900. Call for a free confidential consultation.
At the time of this blog we were unaware of any Maryland laws that would prohibit an individual from operating a drone, however, there are FAA rules the prohibit the use of drones in the U.S.
We are aware of one bill that was introduced by the Maryland Legislature that addressed the use of drone for surveillance use, but nothing as it pertains to criminal law in Maryland.
Maryland Drone Laws
Even though there are no current laws on the books in Maryland, it appears that law enforcement is looking for other ways to charge individuals who operate a drone. In New York this past weekend, an individual was arrested for operating a drone near the U.S. Open. He was charged with reckless endangerment, violating local laws and violating a sign posted outside of the event.
The fact is, there is nothing in the criminal statutes that prohibit the use of a drone in Maryland. And Maryland drone laws will surely be written soon as the use of drones become more popular.
There has been one case in Maryland where a Judge ruled that an individual could fly a drone for commercial use.
Without the guidance of laws, if you find yourself the victim of a criminal prosecution for flying a drone in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, at 410-288-2900 or email the office for immediate legal help.
We are a Maryland drone laws defense law firm based in Baltimore. Attorney Randolph Rice is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and has been defending individuals charged with crimes since 2009. He is ranked by Super Lawyers as a Maryland Rising Star 2013, 2014, and 2015. He is Lead Counsel Rated and Ranks a 10 out of 10 with Avvo.
From the FAA:
Myth: Commercial UAS flights are OK if I’m over private property and stay below 400 feet.
Fact—The FAA published a Federal Register notice in 2007 that clarified the agency’s policy: You may not fly a UAS for commercial purposes by claiming that you’re operating according to the Model Aircraft guidelines (below 400 feet, 3 miles from an airport, away from populated areas.) Commercial operations are only authorized on a case-by-case basis. A commercial flight requires a certified aircraft, a licensed pilot and operating approval. To date, only one operation has met these criteria, using Insitu’s ScanEagle, and authorization was limited to the Arctic.( http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=73981)
Myth: Commercial UAS operations will be OK after September 30, 2015.
Fact—In the 2012 FAA reauthorization legislation, Congress told the FAA to come up with a plan for “safe integration” of UAS by September 30, 2015. Safe integration will be incremental. The agency is still developing regulations, policies and standards that will cover a wide variety of UAS users, and expects to publish a proposed rule for small UAS – under about 55 pounds – later this year. That proposed rule will likely include provisions for commercial operations.