It’s a bird, it’s a plane...nope it’s a drone and if you’re cheating you’re about to get caught.
More people are using drones to catch their partner cheating, says California Certified Family Law Specialist Peter Walzer of law firm Walzer Melcher. He adds that the ever increasing use of drone technology (an unmanned aerial vehicle) is causing local, state and federal legislators to catch up with the personal use of the flying cameras. They are so rampant, “many states have enacted or have pending drone legislation limiting their use.” The new FAA rules on the personal use of drones went into effect on August 29 because so many people are using them.
The new rules state that drones must weigh less than 55 lbs, fly less than 100 mph, and go no further than 400 ft in the sky. The operator must be able to see the drone when using it, the drone can only be used during the day (including dawn and dusk), and lastly, drones cannot be used to spy on strangers.
But, regardless of the FAA regulations, drones have been and will be used by people to spy on other people—particularly jealous friends, lovers, and spouses,” says Peter.
“The domestic violence law of most states prohibit stalking another person and that is exactly what watching or following someone with a drone is. The legal definition of stalking is probably sufficient to cover drones,” he says. “Domestic violence restraining orders are issued by most family courts. Some large courts have separate courtrooms just for DV cases. If a restraining order is issued, that can be a factor in some states for establishing support and custody orders.”
He adds that despite the punishment, private investigators are using drones to spy on cheating spouses.
“One lady hired a private investigator to fly a drone over Central Park to spy on her cheating husband,” he says. “The use of drones for spying may be more prevalent in fault states—although the number of states that consider marital infidelity as a factor in divorce cases is limited. Divorcing spouses may be more inclined to procure evidence of illegal behavior in the backyard of their ex's house.”
The downside? (Besides acting crazy.)
Drones have a limited range, they don't fly that far, so the cheating must be happening nearby in order for you to do a fly by. They do not have stealth technology—at least for personal drones. Drones make noise— some say it is like a weed whacker, so they are likely to be noticed, and the perpetrator is likely to be caught.
“Whether the person uses the drone or hires someone to operate it, they may be breaking state and federal law,” says Peter. “In addition, they may subject themselves to restraining orders that have serious consequences.”
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