Approximately 45 states have considered restrictions on UAS in the last year, and local governments also frequently contemplate enacting their own regulations. Yet, the FAA, as a federal agency, may exercise its authority to preempt state or local regulations — whether or not they conflict with its regulations.
To prepare for drone mainstreaming and the increase in drone-related violations that will ensue, it is important to understand the current state of the law at all levels, the likely misuse of drones prosecutors should be prepared to face, and the ways this technology and the law surrounding it are likely to change going forward.
Drone case law is small for the moment, yet the issues drones pose for prosecutors are growing by the day, as new uses of the technology arise, and new public safety risks become apparent. Prosecutors should keep a close watch on the developing body of law surrounding drones to understand the parameter of their authority and to anticipate new potential drone violations they may be required
Legal issues surrounding those regulations, and the use of drones more broadly, are only now beginning to find their way to the courts, and resolution of issues surrounding use of drones in public spaces, drone invasions of privacy, and Fourth Amendment concerns are all forthcoming.
An in-depth analysis of the issues from a public policy perspective. Written for district attornies this is a good overview of where we are and how things are likely to evolve from here including a succinct summary of the FAA’s position.