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New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:

Created by on 2003-06-01
This is a copy of what I sent to the FCC. I'm sending it because I can't beleive it!

Mr. Hollingsworth,

Tonight, I was pulled over by a New York State Trooper and given a ticket for having a "scanner" (Icom IC-1500, and IC-706) in my vehicle. I explained that I was an Amateur Radio Operator, and provided my Amateur license for the officer's review. Apparently, this was not good enough, a ticket ensued.

New York does have a "scanner" law, New York Traffic Law 397, which I am enclosing below.

I can not be the only Amateur Radio operator in the State of New York, yet now I am faced with a potential fine of $1000.00 or 6 months in jail, or both!

Is there any guidance you can give that may help me? I'm scheduled for a court appearance on June 9, 2003 in the Town Hall of Evans Mills, New York at 0700.

Thank you,

Richard C Lalone II, KC5GAX

25532 James Street,

Calcium, NY 13616

(315)-629-5698

kc5gax@twcny.rr.com or richard.lalone@na.amedd.army.mil

Section 397 - New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is the complete text of section 397 of the New York State vehicle and traffic law. This section governs the use of mobile scanners in motor vehicles. Following the statute is a brief summary of the case law relevant to this section.

397. EQUIPPING MOTOR VEHICLES WITH RADIO RECEIVING SETS CAPABLE OF RECEIVING SIGNALS ON THE FREQUENCIES ALLOCATED FOR POLICE USE.

A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city, or village in a county having a county police department by the board of supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs.

KD5GYV 2004-07-08
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
STATE LAW CANNOT CONFLICT WITH FEDERAL LAW. THIS MIGHT HAVE WORKED ON SOMEONE OTHER THAN A HAM. YOUR LICENSE GIVEN TO YOU BY THE FCC HAS THE POWER OVER THIER STATE LAW. MAKE SURE IF YOU GO TO COURT AND THEY FIND OUT THE LAW, THAT THEY CHECK INTO SCHOOLING THE STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ON HAM OPERATORS. THANKS CLYDE
G6NOA 2003-08-18
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Sorry I did this but I have to protect myself. This is what I found when doing a search for kc5gax I was looking to find info on how he made out with his ticket.

FCC cancels upgrade

The FCC has canceled a General Class upgrade of a
Kentucky ham.

This after the regulatory agency says the
Physician's Certification used to obtain a Morse
code testing waiver was not a valid document.

The ham losing the upgrade is identified as
Richard Lalone II, KC5GAX, of Fort Campbell.
Lalone was notified by the FCC on November 19th
that his operating privileges have been returned
to his previous Technician Plus class and that he
must not use the General class bands.

The FCC also told Lalone that it was not pursuing
any putative measures against him at this time.
But the regulatory agency also says that Lalone
could run into difficulty if and when he tries to
upgrade again or if he tries renew his current
license.

ARRL members can read an in-depth story about the
license KC5GAX license class downgrade on the
Leagues'"Members Only" website at:

www.arrl.org/members

So is he really telling the truth about what happened when he got the ticket
K2LES 2003-06-11
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Where on QRZ.com -- can't find it.
KC5GAX 2003-06-11
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Late reply. I've received about 550 emails about this sore topic. I certianly appreciate the great influx of support from all over the world. I simply wished the judge saw it the same way most other people did. To make a long story short, I was "given" a plea of innocent entered by the judge and was given a new court date of 9 July 03 at 1300 local time. I asked for a dismissal and was told, "I'll be happy to discuss your case with you and your attorney" on the date indicated. The judge refused to read what I handed him. Not a good day for hams. I would like you guy's following this to read my new posting on QRZ. It is the short version of the chronological events of my courtroom appearance.....line by line. I hate to make you guys who are intrested in this saga switch to another page, but with ine high volume of emails, I find it easier to keep you guy's informed using one page. Thanks Again for your help and support. 73 de KC5GAX
KG4ZUD 2003-06-10
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
We will probably hear back from him in 5 years -- 3 years with good behavior...

;)
K2CMC 2003-06-10
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Hey Rich,

What happened at your court hearing?

I am sure there is more than a few of us here and
on QRZ.com that want to know what your circumstance is?

wondering,
Charlie/K2CMC
KD4JVG 2003-06-10
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Well, I don't see a reply from Ricard yet. I beleive today(Monday, 9th) was the day.
They say that "NO NEWS" is "GOOD NEWS".
Lets hope for the best!
P.S. I just sold my last Outbacker in preperation to make the switch to a screwdriver. I'm glad I haven't spent the bucks on the screwdriver yet, as I have family in New Jersey, and don't wish to be shot when visiting "up there"
Gregg KD4JVG
K9HL 2003-06-09
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Doing 40 in a 50 MPH zone in the early AM...yeah, I'd probably stop you too. And, it sounds like you were probably not all "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Ma'am" either.
But let's get to the radio issue. Contrary to a lot of postings here, police officers are not experts on the fine points of the law. They don't carry a legal library with them in their vehicle, and many times asking dispatch to answer such a question is no help. Police officers hear a lot of excuses. One of them is: "I'm exempt from that statute, because...." There is no mention that you showed her a copy of the statute, which you should have. As a result, she's heard this type of excuse before. Also, her comment that the court can sort it out is correct. I would dare to say that she might have been inclined to believe you because she did not confiscate your radio...you were lucky there. I teach at a law enforcement academy. There are no courses on the subject of ham operators being exempt from such laws...nor is the subject of this law discussed, unless a recruit asks it, during their study of Indiana statutes. Most go on what they've heard from others or what they heard before they became a police officer...which is: if you're not an officer or authorized by a letter from the chief or sheriff, you cannot have a "police scanner" in your vehicle. (Before I retired from the Indiana State Police in 1985, I wish I had a dollar for every trooper who asked me for the statute number for a driver not wearing shoes...as our parents and friends told us it was illegal. In Indiana there is no such statute and never has been.) Although the courses I teach have to do with mobile and mainframe computer operation, I try to help my fellow hams by going over this subject when I discuss what data you can and cannot give out via radio and why. Even seasoned officers sometimes question me about it during class sessions, and I have supplied to more than one a copy of the Indiana statute pointing out the amateur radio exemption. Many have never actually read the statute, because it rarely comes up on the street, and they thank me for pointing it out in case it ever comes up. Cut the lady officer some slack. Nearly everyone trys to justify, or bluff their way out of, why they should not be ticketed. Yours was only one of several stories she heard that night...most of which were lies. I'm sure you came out ok tonight, and these postings can be given a rest.

73.

Ken
KE4UEI 2003-06-07
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Talk about scanners and radios in vehicles; I posted a response on the 5th I think, but I was driving to our beach and was stopped by a young and inexperienced LE Officer. I know most of them but never met this one. He wondered what my 4 glass mounted antennas were doing on my P/U. He looked in thru the window and saw my gear. He said it was illeagal to have a scanner in a vehicle. I told him I was an Amateur Radio Operator licenced by the FCC and this person still did not care. Told me to "unhook" it now. My gear in mounted so that it wuld take a tool box to do so.
I told the LE Officer no, that in FL, there is a state statute covering a valid FCC licence issued to a person.
This person looked for about 10 mins or so, so I had to show this person what section it was in.
Asked how I knew, I explained I have the book, as I was a LE Officer in the past. Now I am in Emergency Amateur Radio.
We both chuckled and I gave the freq I use for SKYWARN so we both left friendly.
It pays to be nice, especially when your right.

Dave
KB9KHF 2003-06-07
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
When I owned a courier company, I had my Kenwood mobile in one of my trucks. In Illinois, it is illegal to put radar sensing equipment in commerical vehicles. I was stopped at an accident on the Expressway, and a trooper saw the radio attached to the inside roof, and directed me to the side of the road.

After showing him, the radio in question, and my liscense. I was given a ticket. I called the local District attorney. All they required was that I stop in and show my liscense, a picture of the radio clearly showing the model number, and a copy of the spec page from the owner's manual.

The ticket was dropped, and I was apologized to by the District attorney's employee.

Just be courteous, and respectful of the fact that maybe these folks don't have a complete knowledge of all the statutes. Hence the reason for all the law books in the offices!
NF2G 2003-06-06
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Replying to N2MDB:

>Dave, in your June 3rd post you asked about emergency service plates.
>DMV calls ham plates "emergency services plates" if you look on their website. They are listed in the same category as FF and EMT plates. Other types of plates include sports plates, regional plates, professional plates, etc.. It's just the classification.


I wasn't aware of that classification. Thanks for the correction!

WA2JJH 2003-06-06
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I do not think of all the time I have been a EHAM subscriber have I ever seen such feedback. The other Post is some guy complaining about ham radio. I have decided to treat it as a late April fools day hoax.


I hope that everthing goes well for the O.M. I am sure that eveyone on both sides are interested as to what is the conclusion. Of course we are not going to be privey as to what the state trooper wrote up in her report.

IMHO if the O.M. did nothing wrong legally, he should get some type of apology letter from the D.A., instead of the usual "The D.A. has decided not to procede with this case due to the high volume of other cases".

It is interesting that only HAMS and members of the press are the only NON-MOS that are allowed to have mobile scanners.

Perhaps it is because HAMS in general are not criminals.( No feloney convictions anyway. What some hams do on EBAY and Hamfest's are another matter!!!)
Hams are trusted NOT to pass on what they heard on to a criminal or criminal organisation.

I think if this young trooper were made aware of what the FCC's original discription of what the
Amatuer radio service is, she would have not wrote the ticket unless there were other factors.

The trooper would also find it interesting that the technology that is used for a MOS portable as well as the O.M.'s radio were engineered by HAMS, about 75 years ago.

An excellent book to recommend to NON hams and new Hams a like is "Man of High Fidelity". It is the biography of Major Armstrong. Major Armstrong invented the superhetrodyne receiver, FM modulation for 2 way communications, and FM stereo.

73 MIKE

N2MG 2003-06-06
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The posts attributed to "W2ICE" on this topic were actually posted by a pirate. They have been deleted.

I may have also deleted some legitimate comments made that referred to the bogus W2ICE posts.

Mike N2MG
webmaster
N2MDB 2003-06-06
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
NF2G
Dave, in your June 3rd post you asked about emergency service plates.
DMV calls ham plates "emergency services plates" if you look on their website. They are listed in the same category as FF and EMT plates. Other types of plates include sports plates, regional plates, professional plates, etc.. It's just the classification.
KC8LGL 2003-06-05
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Buy the Cop a dozen donuts and send the Judge a Fine Bottle of wine and foget about showing up in Court or beterr yet get a Public Defender and don't drop the soap in the jail shower.
KE4UEI 2003-06-05
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
At this point I would believe anything. This should reflect badly on the Officer's record. Having been born and raised in upstate NY, everyone with a valid FCC Amatuer Radio License has mobile scanners.
I would think the Officer would thank the Amateur in this article, as having one may help Law Enforecement one day with Emergency Comms.
This is one ticket that will be taken back I am sure.
KG6NSB 2003-06-04
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I wonder if this isn't one of those weiord laws that NY is famous for right now. I have seen in the news that you can get a ticket for sitting on two subway seats and a few other "gee we need to think of ways to get more money" types of laws.

As far as the argument that the radio can scan police freqs, well mine has no police in it however with the press of a couple buttons I am scanning the right groups and can usually hear police in a few seconds.

Looks to me like you'll win this one.
NF2G 2003-06-04
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Replying to KE2IV:

>My query:
>
>I belive that the only FCC "blocked" spectrum for >general reception are the original 800 >Mhz "cellphone" frequencies. Are you aware of any >challenge to this reception prohibition that has ever >risen to The Supremes?

Different meaning of "block" from what I was saying. "Block allocations" are contiguous chunks of spectrum that are designated for particular kinds of users. The ham bands are a good example.

"Blocked reception" means that certain frequencies cannot be tuned using a radio receiver.

The FCC has made it impossible for a manufacturer to obtain authority to make or sell a radio receiver that is capable of tuning specific frequency ranges. One technique for meeting this requirement is to block reception in such a way that the user cannot unblock it.

The FCC was required to impose this limitation on receiver design by Congress, which passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which amended 18 U.S.C. 2510 et seq as well as portions of the Code of Federal Regulations that deal with radio stuff.

Congress has the power to pass such a law. The FCC is obligated, as an agency of the Executive Branch, to carry out laws passed by Congress that fall within its sphere of operation. On those grounds, the Supreme Court is unlikely to have anything to say about ECPA.

ECPA prosecutions have not reached the Supreme Court very often. In the few cases that reached them, the Justices did not hold any portion of the law to be invalid. The only nearly direct Constitutional challenge that I recall is Bartnicki v. Vopper, which involved a First Amendment complaint from a news organization among other things. The Court said that the only reason the news people were not culpable under ECPA is because they did not themselves violate the law. They were given illegally-obtained phone traffic by another party, who was and could be prosecuted, so ECPA's phone listening prohibitions appear to be valid at this point.

OBTW, I smiled when you said "counsellor" because I haven't posted the IANAL disclaimer. I teach Criminal Justice to college students and spend a lot of time researching constitutional law on the side.

73 de Dave, NF2G, NYSING-01
KG4FGZ 2003-06-04
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Here in the Traffic Courts in Pinellas County Florida, the Judges will throw out cases where the Officer did not issue a citation for the original offense (i.e. erratic driving). Erratic driving can be a multitude of things from fail to maintain a single lane to others.

When you go to Court you will be allowed to ask questions of the Trooper. Ask her to detail why she stopped you. Then ask her to state which radios you had in your car (i.e. Brand, model, type, freqs, etc.) Since she has cited you for illegal radios, it is up to her to prove which radios you had that were alledgedly illegal.

Then I would ask why she cited you when you displayed your Ham License which is allowed by the Statute.

As a Cop in Virginia I responded to a call about an attempted Burglary. I was 1st on scene and stopped a car coming out of the Apartment complex with no lights on (3AM). The juveniles inside had 2 scanners in their car in use. The Statute in Virginia back then forbid this. I wrote Citations and took the scanners. The kids were known Burglars too and could not explain their prescence in a complex they didn't live in. This is what that Statute is meant for.

Please let us know what happens. And also go in to Court wearing your Sunday Best and show respect to the Judge and Trooper. This all goes a long way with the Judge.

Dave
WY0X 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
N6TGK: They're a proud bunch and don't like being told how to do their job by the average citizen. In a way, that's unfortunate. In this particular case no one is saying the officer is stupid, just uninformed.

Yeah, and the biggest problem with most is that they fail to realize that they're no better than the "average" citizen -- as they call us. It's a matter of attitude. Officers (and I know plenty) who don't put themselves on a pedestal or call others "average" are better at their jobs and generally nicer to be around. Those that have convinced themselves that Law Enforcement workers are somehow better than everyone else -- it shows in all that they do, and is usually a prevailing attitude that permeates their entire personality, even when they're not at work.

It's the difference between being a Cop and being a true Public Servant.
WA4MJF 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I'm not sure local authorities have
any control over US Government Stations.

So MARS, CAP, USGC Aux, etc should be fine.

73 de Ronnie
N5ODX 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
HERE'S A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS

1. PR DOCKET 91-36
IS THE FEDRAL PREMPTION OF STATE AND LOCAL LAWS CONCERNING AMATEUR USE OF TRANSCEVERS CAPABLE OF RECEPTION BEYOND AMATEUR ALLOCATIONS. THIS PREEMPTION ALLOWS AMATEURS TO POSSESS A TRANSCEIVER CAPABLE OF RECPTION (BUT NOT TRANSIMISION) OF FREQUENCIES ADJOINING THE AMATEUR VHF/UHF BANS. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO SCANNERS WHICH ARE SPEARATE FROM AN AMATEUR TANSCEIVER.
A. THE FULL TEXT CAN BE FOUND ON THE ARRL WEBB
ITS 10 PAGES LONG.
B. I KEEP A COPY OF BOTH PR DOCKET 91-36 AND 397 IN
MY CAR AT ALL TIMES
C. ALSO WHAT ABOUT ARMY MARS AND SHARES STATIONS,
DOD AND NCS AUTHORIZE USE OF FREQUENCIES WELL
OUTSIDE OF THE HAM BANDS (NO NOT PUBLIC SERVICE FREQ'S)

K0RGR 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
NF2G - I see that you've done a lot of research on this topic - I found your web site and it appears to be full of great information.

Sadly, the fact that such searches may be overturned in a court in the future are not preventing them from happening here in the Homeland. These incidents, real or alleged, have been reported in the Twin Cities newspapers since the new law went into effect. Perhaps, if there are enough bad traffic stops for seatbelt violations, and somebody chooses to pay for an appeal, these laws will be overturned. I'm not planning to hold my breath.

Recently, the Supreme Court has heard cases challenging Federal pre-emptions in a number of areas. At least some of these have been decided in favor of the states. I suspect that only the Court could decide if the FCC's pre-emptions are valid. Several state courts have chosen to ignore PRB-1, for instance.
KB1IUB 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
KE2IV wrote the following.

:But yes, on a strictly legal basis, you can cut her to :pieces under the Federal Communications Act and its
:pre-emption clause. But then you have to watch out for :her every time you turn on the ignition.

Okay. I don't care to argue on your opinion of whether
the individual committed a crime or not. I find it is
irrevelant to my concern here. You are offering advice
based on the potential corruption of the police force.
Don't you get it?

The officer did something wrong in stopping him so she
cut him a break by giving him a trumped up charge? He
should oblige her by getting it converted? Are you smoking something?

Bill
KB1IUB 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
From K2LES:
Most police officers do not set out to harrass people or write tickets to bust chops. Tickets mean paperwork. Court appearances mean sitting at court for hours waiting for their case to be called (believe me - they'd rather forego the overtime and be home if off
committed.

I have been in a situation where the officer could
not see my vehicle and gave the driver a ticket and
yelled at us for endangering the "innocent" motorist
that ran through the stop sign. Mistakes happen all
the time. However, I had a similar incident in
Massachusetts on 128. I did not receive a ticket.
Infact everyone I know thinks that something evil occured because I did not receive a citation, written
warning, or anything of some sort. I have spoken to
several federal & state law enforcement officers
regarding the matter.

The State Police can determine if you are speeding
regardless of driving under the posted speed limit
given the conditions. It was a good day and I was
doing 55 mph on the nose. I was boxed in by two
state troopers. More state troopers showed. I was
dragged out of the car by one officer while the others
had their weapons in the ready position. I was yelled
at repeatedly. Everything in my car was searched.
My radio was given a through examination and my antenna
was eyeballed from 3" away by one officer. It was
insinuated that I was a terrorist and that I was fleeing the police. After they asked me all sorts
questions about my radio they told me never to drive
in the left lane and go.

There is some concern over radios and civil rights
are being violated. No one deserves to be treated in such a poor fashion. I did not commit any crime. I was obeying the speed limit, I did not weave from lane
lane or tailgate like the multide on 128. I have never
received a speeding ticket in my life.

I think that you do not have a true apprecation for how the police operate. I am also reminded of the fact in Massachusetts that officers are engaged in their personal lives while executing their sworn duties for the public. They can tape record your audio, but they can not be tape recorded. When they put a man in jail soley for this crime, you should reconsider all of your statements.

bill
KG5FTK 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I can't believe the comments I am reading about this issue. The overriding impression I am getting is:

1. everyone accepts that the government misuses its power, treats citizens unfairly, recommends pleading a lesser charge to get rid of an issue even if you are not guilty or responsible, accepts that police are poor little creatures that are stupid but it is our responsibility to accomdate them and not fight them for our rights when they are wrong, etc, etc....

2. everyone now seems to accept the notion that if the government accuses you of anything, it is our responsiblity to prove to the government that we are not guilty; the government does not have to prove anything, just accuse.

3. everyone thinks that it is ok for the government not know the law but ignorance of the law by the rest of us is no excuse.

This is the saddest bunch of crap I have seen in awhile. The government has all of you trained very well.
W9WHE 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
KC2JCQ writes:

"This ended with me telling him that if he did so he wouldn't have a job in the morning ...."

Wow! A ham with the abillity to summaraly fire a civil servant with no due process! Now that's real power!

For the rest of us mere mortals, I have a better idea. If you live in a "scanner restricted" state, carry a copy of the state law in your car. If you are hassled, pull out the law, show it to the cop, and explain it. Odds are, he has never actually seen the statute.

If you think you can get your way by threatening a civil servant's job, you need to think again. Cops hear that every day! Think they worry? Nope!

Not only will you get further with polite reasoning using the facts, you will not create ill will towards the entire ham community. At a time when antenna restrictions are growing by leaps and bounds, we don't need people hating hams. What if that cop were on the board of directos of a home-owner's association? Think there is any chance he is going to let a ham put up an antenna?

W3JJH 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I always keep a copy of PR91-36 in the glove compartment along with the vehicle registration and a copy of my station license. When I've been questioned about my equipment, I point out that is licensed by the federal government and that regulation my use of the mobile transceiver has been preempted by the FCC. I've never had a problem.

On the other hand, most policemen don't know how to run a registration check on my vehicle. I have call sign tags. The Maryland MVA system comes back with an "invalid" response to the registration check unless the tag is identified as HAM plate.
KC2JKQ 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
It's not rare for the NYS Troopers to hassle Amateurs because of their equipment, some time ago I was pulled over FOR having antennas on my vehicle and the trooper was going to write a ticket and "seize my equipment" which would have also meant seizing the vehicle due to the fact that the radios are mounted in the dash. This ended with me telling him that if he did so he wouldn't have a job in the morning and instructing him to get a supervisor on the scene who abrubtly told the trooper "your a retard, the the operator go". (by the way I also live in the same area as KC5GAX and know him personally. I'll be the first to admit.. this is not the way to handle getting pulled over, and I admit I lost my temper.



KE2IV: It's too bad Dick (KC5GAX) doesn't drink.. otherwise the breathalyzer would have been warranted and you wouldn't sound so much like a j***a**. The erratic driving reason for pulling someone over is way overused and very rarely is a DWI given due to pulling someone over for DWI.



--Ric
73 de KC2JKQ
W9WHE 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
FIRST: Talk to the prosecuting attorney a few days BEFORE you go to court. Show him the statute AND your license. Odds are, he will decline to prosecute. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GET EMOTIONAL. MAKE YOUR ARGUMENTS RATIONALLY. PRACTICE THEM IN ADVANCE. If you cant get him to non-suit the case, then you need your lawyer.

SECOND: What do you expect Hollingsworth to do? This is between you and the State of NY.
WA2JJH 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Milage will vary. Where you where, and wnat was the MOS percetion of you..
I stand corrected on ACD. In some area's ACD's are commen small incidents.

IMHO, you should not go into anymore details in a public forum! However please let us know what the final disposition was.(only if you want to, of course)

If you feel you were singled out, there is always the MEDIA.

73 MIKE


KG5FTK 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
To NF2G

Its people like you who are too cowardly to defend your own rights in a country run by crazy right wing radicals bend on creating a police state. But don't worry, someone else of much higher caliber than you will do it for you.
G6FOP 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Interesting article. As a retired UK LEO i can see why you got stopped, Time of Day, Speed are all relevant to 'probable cause' for a suspect DUI. The officer obviously thougt you were DUI. Why she cited you for the 'Scanner' Law I don't know, maybe you p*ssed her off, may be she has a quota to reach, maybe she was doing her Job. Best advice I have seen is research the law and talk to the Prosecuting Authority to get their reaction. If negative find a Lawyer.

73
G6FOP
N3NDW 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I was just wondering, just how many permits they have issued there to carry a scanner, and where would one go to get the permit? Maybe they should start to issue them for a fee.
There is something to consider here, and that is that most if not all of the radios sold in the last 10 years have the extended receive in them. That would make all of us in violation of the law. All they would have to do is look for the antennas. Maybe we could all go back to carrying HTX 202's. Anyone in NY want to buy mine for $400.??? Its legal in your state.
The next time, don't drink and drive, don't weave all over the road, and turn off your radios when the officer approaches the car. She probably got mad when she heard her dispatcher on your rig.
K2LES 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I can count the number of times on one hand in the past 12 years that a deputy or trooper failed to show up for court when subpeonaed. Most people who opt for a trial for traffic violations or penal law violations do so hoping that the officer won't show up so that their case is dismissed. When they see the officer in the court room, 98% of them accept a plea bargain. The remaining 2% who go to trial end up losing anyway.

ACD = adjournment in contemplation of dismissal

Most police officers take notes when they write a ticket. In fact on the officer's copy, there's an area on which to take notes. Even if they don't use their notes at trial, I've been amazed at how well many of them can recall the details of the traffic stop that took place months or even sometimes years ago.
KE2IV 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
NF2G,

Excellent counsellor. Thank you.

You wrote:

"Actually, if your scanner is tuned to 800 MHz trunked frequencies, then you should be in the clear according to the plain language of S.397: "...frequencies allocated by the [FCC] for police use." The 800 MHz band was never allocated under the old PP/PF/PS blocks. Instead, it was divided into various "pools" of frequencies for conventional or trunked use."

My query:

I belive that the only FCC "blocked" spectrum for general reception are the original 800 Mhz "cellphone" frequencies. Are you aware of any challenge to this reception prohibition that has ever risen to The Supremes?

73,
KE2IV
WA2JJH 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Hey O.M. The trooper might be too busy to show up to court.
Very commen!

I know you might be fumming.
You might find the court system will push for an ACD. Aquitted, comtemlating dismissle.

Dress nice, be very softspoken, and do not finger point at the trooper.

The trooper has many questionable stops he made on his mind. He may nor remeber your stop that much at all.

I am sure you have it right down to the most trivial detail. AS hard as this sounds...smile and be relaxed.

Do not cop to some TYPE OF PLEABARGAIN!
If you and your lawyer see "A COVER UP" AND THEY WNAT TO NAIL YOU(UNLIKELY) Get the local press involved.j








NF2G 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Thanks to those who have posted actual information here!

There are a few misconceptions floating around. Some are relevant to the individual who got the ticket, others are not. I've cut these points out of various messages rather than replying to each one, so original senders might not be credited each time.

1) "This final paragraph of the statute is where you may run into trouble with the court. I do not believe that the frequencies designated to your local Police/Fire/Rescue (trunking) are Amateur related."

Actually, if your scanner is tuned to 800 MHz trunked frequencies, then you should be in the clear according to the plain language of S.397: "...frequencies allocated by the [FCC] for police use." The 800 MHz band was never allocated under the old PP/PF/PS blocks. Instead, it was divided into various "pools" of frequencies for conventional or trunked use.

By the way, the FCC is refarming VHF and UHF spectrum along the same lines. Once the block "police" allocation system goes away, S.397 will probably be unenforceable as it will no longer state a cause for prosecution.

2) "You can get in NY, as I have, an Emergency Services license plate with your call sign. That might help."

A what? I know we have Amateur Radio, EMT, Paramedic, and Volunteer Firefighter plates here, but what is an "Emergency Services" plate?

3) "The one I heard from was going through a seatbelt checkpoint. I thought they were supposed to only ticket violators of the seatbelt law or whatever the checkpoint was set up to find? Our rights are being eroded daily by Big Brother."

First, please send the information about which ham, when, and where to dave@nf2g.com - I'm still researching the prevalence of prosecutions against hams under this law. The last one I heard about (that could be verified) was in Suffolk County and he got off.

Second, your beliefs about checkpoints are incorrect. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the police may set up traffic safety checkpoints provided their actual purpose is not a general search for crime (so they can't set up drug checkpoints, for instance).

If in the course of such a check they discover evidence of some other crime, then they may proceed to the higher levels of suspicion required to investigate further under the Fourth Amendment. They may not, however, use a safety checkpoint as a pretext to stop cars with a hidden plan to search for evidence of criminal behavior. A general search must be based upon pre-existing individualized suspicion (IOW they have to be suspicious BEFORE the car is stopped - or discover criminality as an unplanned side effect of a lawful checkpoint stop).

4) WA8KJP's message left me wondering how much jail time he's done already.

5) "I feel that the new laws authorizing cops to pull motorists over for not wearing seat belts is an open invitation to illegal searches."

See number 3 above. That's why we have courts.

6) "I don't believe FCC's limited pre-emption of state scanner laws to exempt Federal licensees has been tested in the Supreme Court."

On what grounds would the Supreme Court even hear a case? Under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Federal government was delegated exclusive authority over interstate commerce. Back in the early 20th Century, radio communications were deemed to fall into that category.

Congress created the Federal Radio Commission in 1923, and passed the Communications Act of 1934 that transformed the FRC into the FCC - all duly authorized actions under the Constitution.

The FCC is an agency of the Executive Branch. Their preemptions of state laws attempting to regulate various forms of communications are within their Constitutional authority. The Supreme Court has always deferred to the FCC when there has been a conflict within the Commission's jurisdiction, occasionally citing the "separation of powers" doctrine from the Constitution.

Finally on this topic, the "ham exemption" in S.397 was put there by the New York State Legislature, not by the FCC. It is one of the main reasons why this particular law has not been struck down by the courts. The law as written does not tread upon the FCC's jurisdiction. Deciding what sort of devices may be installed into a motor vehicle comes under the state's "police powers" reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment. S.397 is within New York State's power, and is constitutional precisely because it excludes from prosecution ham operators using mobile ham equipment.


Dave, NF2G, NYSING-01
MACJ

KE4DRN 2003-06-03
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
As a former NY resident (now in NC) the law was written for the bad guys, not upstanding people like ham radio operators.

You did not have a police scanner but a ham radio
so you should be fine and the whole thing tossed out.

But I am not a lawyer and I did not get a citation.

All portable tape and cd player are walkmans right ?

Keep you cool (don't think about bubba in a cell)
and you will come out ok.

Many towns issue tickets and never expect to go to court, people instead pay the ticket or fines and the town gets more revenue to spend.

It is sad that some here posted some nasty stuff about those that serve and protect.
N2XIG 2003-06-03
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Other issues aside, it seems to me that you are concerned about the fine and/or the prospect of going to the big house. A look at the VTL section, and it would appear that it was written in a way that is purposefully ambiguous, so as to satisfy L/E and Hams.
Ex: 'Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs.'.
Does that mean the receiver must only be able to receive Ham freqs, or must it be tuned to/receiving only the Ham freqs while mobile ??
If you read through the NYS VTL, the phrase 'what were they thinking when they wrote that section' will come up often. 5 different judges can have 5 different interpretations of the laws.
I would simply go to court on the appointed time/ date, dressed in appropriate attire, and bring your Amateur Radio License (original). Also bring copies of the VTL section in question, for your reference, and any other documetation (such as from the ARRL) to support your case. You might also try to get your hands on the Commissioner's Rules and Regulations, which offers better explanations of many of the VTL sections, and how the state interprets them and how they feel they should be applied. Calmy explain to the judge your position and the reasons why you feel the charge should be dismissed, and present your case. Be professional..Be prepared. Don't go into a tirade making wild accusations and insinuations that those involved don't know how to do their jobs. If you do, the judge will very likely throw the book at you, and tell you if you don't like it, appeal it. And the Trooper was correct in saying that she was not going argue the already written ticket on the roadside, that is what court is for.
Unless there is more to the story than we are being told (and there are always 2 sides, only you and the Trooper were there), I bet your ticket gets dismissed.
Good luck to you.
W5BAK 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
What about your MARS radio?
KE2IV 2003-06-02
RE: Joke of the day...read this paragraph again! (
To WA1WLA;

What, were you with the next group waiting to take over the next plane from B-Town that morning?

How dare you ever suggest that NY hams would not respond to an emergency because of a stupid thing like a drunk getting ticketed!

You have a hell of a f-ing nerve!

I was there at Fulton and Church Sts. that morning and saw many die. Where were you - watching the tube and sucking another brewskie?

I am damn proud that hams, along with many others, came forward to lend their assistance as best they could that day and for weeks thereafter!

Get a life. There are too many here who lost theirs!

WA1WLA 2003-06-02
RE: Joke of the day...read this paragraph again! (

Next time there is a disaster in NY state all hams should show up without (scaners)radios.
VK2NEW 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I wonder what the great Barry Goldwater is thinking as he looks down from heaven.
God bless you Barry.
K0RGR 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
This is a response to N3NL:

Oh, I sincerely hope that if any of the things I grimly predict were to come to pass, the American people would not allow it to happen.

I don't blame the police for any of this. I studied Police Science myself and was a Reserve Officer and a rent-a-cop many years ago. But I am becoming very concerned about the level of state and local government intrusion into all areas of electronic communications, and I feel that the new laws authorizing cops to pull motorists over for not wearing seat belts is an open invitation to illegal searches.

There is a substantial battle brewing over the whole area of Federal pre-emption of communications law. This is an example of a disputed area. I don't believe FCC's limited pre-emption of state scanner laws to exempt Federal licensees has been tested in the Supreme Court.

Yes, let's hope this gets thrown out before it gets to court. Good luck, you probably don't need a lawyer, but I'd try to get some good legal advice in any case - the ARRL program should be a good source.
KE2IV 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
After reading all of this stuff, including your own replies, which became increasingly self-incriminatory, I think you got off easy!

Oh, I agree that there was no reason for the Trooper to cite you for your radio. But as you went on to admit, it was extremely late in the evening (or early in the morning) when this happened and you were, shall we say, less than a fully aware motorist? (er...I am an attorney).

Perhaps she was "cutting you a break" by citing your radio rather than your erratic driving (which might have then required her to administer a breathalyzer test) as the cause for the stop?

That is between you and your conscience. But I would suggest you do right by her and ham radio by copping a plea.

I suggest that you politely request that the infraction be "converted" to "failure to observe a traffic warning device".

This usually works in common speeding cases when drivers have clean records. Whether she'll do that for you is a bit of a question.

But yes, on a strictly legal basis, you can cut her to pieces under the Federal Communications Act and its pre-emption clause. But then you have to watch out for her every time you turn on the ignition.

Your choice....
KE2IV 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Why should I need (have) to do this? Are you for real?
KE2IV 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
And yes, she would!

Our junior Senator is a top notch Constitutional lawyer!

Oh yes, here we go again, the redneck pigs have gotten out of the sty! Hey, Martha, time to clean up the yard again!!!
KE2IV 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
You weren't wrong. Your rejoinder, however, was STUPID.

IGNORANCE is simply a lack of knowledge and doesn't imply any inability to learn or comprehend.

Thus, you were initially correct.

Unfortunately, you returned to reveal that you may indeed be STUPID.

While IGNORANCE of the law may be no excuse, STUPIDITY is inexcusable!

:-)
AC6YD 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
WB2TPS wrote:

"NYS does not want people driving around with police receivers in their cars. The reason should be obvious."
_______________________________________________________

Really? Just what are those obvious reasons? I've been in police work for over 30 years and the obvious seems to escape me. If we want privacy then it behooves us police to find a secure method of communication such as encryption or secure digital modes. Most departments have secure means of radio communication.

Stupidly citing hams for possession of a VHF/UHF radio is idiocy in the first degree. Let’s get real here folks. If being able to hear police calls in your car is such a threat to officer safety why didn’t the officer impound the radio?

Anyone else here smell bovine scatology as related to this law?
WB9YCJ 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
They use to advertise a Ham Radio Operaters "Badge" in QST. It was shiny and looked like a real Police Badge.
Image this mobile operator flashing this "Ham" badge at the cop in response to the Cop displaying his own police badge. Hi Hi
KD4THS 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Before hiring a lawyer, or going to court, why not just phone up the District Attorney's office, and explain the situation. Explain that there is a callsign tool available on eHam or several other sites that can be used to cross-reference. They have your information from the ticket, and it SHOULD match up pretty well with the info from the FCC, and you may find the ticket going away very quickly.

If it doesn't work on the phone, make a second try in person.

IANAL
CASPER669 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
K2LES Wrote: "This is getting silly. Let's get a grip and be realistic about the issue. Some of the comments made on here about law enforcement and the criminal justice system only make the ham radio community look ridiculous."

Yes... I agree. It doesn't make us look good. And what does that make someone who enforces the law look like when they don't know or break the law themselves? You suggest that it makes the 'HAM radio community look ridiculous.' You have just made the same mistake that many others here have made. That is, to label all within that category.

K2LES Wrote: "Most police officers do not set out to harrass people or write tickets to bust chops. Tickets mean paperwork. Court appearances mean sitting at court for hours waiting for their case to be called (believe me - they'd rather forego the overtime and be home if off duty or out patrolling)."

In rural areas, perhaps. I've friends and family within the NYPD - some retired, others just starting a career. Yet, all of them agree that they love(d) the overtime. No matter what they were doing. If it was to sit in a court room, do a B&B (you should recognize that acronym), write a traffic ticket or whatever. So long as it's overtime, they don't care. BTW, this is first hand testimony and not conjecture. Of course, they'll all deny they ever said any of this, in a court of law.

K2LES wrote: "Judges, prosecutors and police officers, as a whole are not corrupt or an enemy of the public at large. Judges and district attorneys are elected officials who know that scandals will cost them their jobs on election day. Police officers know if they step over the line - they too can be subject to prosecution. Yes, some of these people have crossed the line and they paid the price - but don't think that every cop is out to get you. That's just paranoid thinking."

From your lips to Gods ears! I hope everyone in this forum is wrong and you're right! What a country this would be if that weren't true! The only point I'd take issue with is the 'some' you refer to crossing the line and being punished for it. For the officers who do get punishment, I don't think they get what the law says they deserve. And for those who don't get punished (i.e. transferred to another precinct/district) - well, I hope you see my point.

K2LES wrote: "The police academy is not going to have a course on differentiating ham radios from scanners and hams from criminals."

This would be uncalled for. However, they should be able to recognize a federal license when shown one. I think that's all the original author was conveying. Maybe this is something that the FCC should look at, as well. My paycheck comes with an official watermark. Why not the pocket license from the FCC?

Of course, being the average Joe (or, Chris in this case) I'm no graduate of Harvard Law School or St. John's. But, it is interesting to note (and I think you'll agree with me on this) the difference of opinions in this forum, as it pertains to demographics and people's feelings towards local law enforcement in general. Someone else in this forum said that Officers/Troopers don't earn enough money for what they do. I completely agree. They work mostly with the horrors and tragedies that we see in the news - on an everyday basis. I definitely could not handle that. In all honesty, I don't know how they can do it. They deal with drug dealers, wife/husband beaters, old naked men/women running down crowded streets, the homeless, murderers, rapists, etc. And that could be in one day!

In general, I respect them and the work that they do. I do believe that there are those who are 'on the job' that have ego trips and take it out on whoever happens to be there at that moment. Policing anything is a difficult task. When working with the general public, it becomes an unpredictable one as well. I have always been willing to work with them, especially being a member of ARES, here in NY. I know the "do's and don'ts" and try not to step on their toes. I just wish that every now and then they could remember the reason they chose that career path. Hopefully, it was for all the right reasons.

As always, just my two cents worth. I thank any/all for reading. 73 and God bless!

Chris KC2KFW
N2ZTE 2003-06-02
RE: Fight Back
No such thing as a "sworn" personnel complaint, and there's no need to make a complaint. The Trooper didn't do anything inappropriate, like curse, yell, etc...which is what those forms are for. He issued a ticket, properly and legitimately - thats what courts are for. I'm a ham and a cop - your suggestion was retarted. - Andy
KG5FTK 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Richard, ask all those people who are telling you not to even talk to an attorney if they are going to help you find jobs for the rest of your life when you have a misdemeanor on your record. Employers do check.

Calling an attorney and explaining what happen will cost you nothing from a reputable lawyer. He or she will help you alot more than getting legal advice from this site.
K2LES 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
This is getting silly. Let's get a grip and be realistic about the issue. Some of the comments made on here about law enforcement and the criminal justice system only make the ham radio community look ridiculous.

Most police officers do not set out to harrass people or write tickets to bust chops. Tickets mean paperwork. Court appearances mean sitting at court for hours waiting for their case to be called (believe me - they'd rather forego the overtime and be home if off duty or out patrolling).

Judges, prosecutors and police officers, as a whole are not corrupt or an enemy of the public at large. Judges and district attorneys are elected officials who know that scandals will cost them their jobs on election day. Police officers know if they step over the line - they too can be subject to prosecution. Yes, some of these people have crossed the line and they paid the price - but don't think that every cop is out to get you. That's just paranoid thinking.

You cannot expect police officers to be experts on every statute on the books. Between Penal Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Vehicle & Traffic Law - it's a lot to remember. The police academy is not going to have a course on differentiating ham radios from scanners and hams from criminals.

The law is RARELY enforced. A duly licensed ham with type-accepted amateur radio gear in his vehicle has nothing to worry about. If it were enforced with vigor - every firefighter, EMT and news reporter in the state would be hauled into court to answer to the crime they committed.

The federal pre-emption is already built into V&TL 397. No need to wave it in the judge's face.

V&TL 397 is an unclassified misdemeanor. Judges have a book with sentencing guidelines for just about every section of the V&TL. IIRC, it suggests that the maximum fine for section 397 is only $250 for the first offense. I'll look it up tomorrow night when I'm working.

It's likely that if the judge does not dismiss the charge at arraignment, the DA will offer you a violation in section 375 (equipment violation - i.e., broken tail light) since no judge or DA will allow for a misdemeanor conviction for someone who didn't steal anything or hurt/bothered anyone. The likelihood of jail is extremely remote unless the scanner was used in the furtherance of a crime (for which there's a Penal Law statute in section 140).

You don't need an attorney for this matter unless you want to throw $500 away.

K8LEA 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I'm an old rent-a-cop.... While it's not true that my first mobile was a spark gap device, it did have tubes in it....

About 30 years ago, give or take, I was in the City PD for some reason, and a couple of Officers handed me a CB HT (Channel 14, and one of those really cheap "kiddie" versions), and asked if it could be used to receive their frequencies.

Had a devil of a time convincing them that it wouldn't....

(Or at least not well enough to be worth the effort except at very short ranges.)

I doubt if much has changed.

Another local PD had their own two-meter repeater for years. Two of the troops were hams. (One was Chief for a while, too.) When they went on the air with the repeater, they got permission to put their own ham gear in the Township cars. They, I think, would recognize an FT-1500M [grin].

I'm convinced, too, that there are a lot of younger officers out there who will try to find some reason to cite a motorist when a stop turns out to be a waste. Just to keep up the stats, or to avoid looking silly. They may not know, and lately aren't about to ask....

The primary reason for not asking, btw, is related to our "sue everybody" society. When I started LE, if you caught a drunk on the road, you often drove him home, got him to a hotel, or just followed if it was close. Somebody got their paint scratched and poof.... The LEO's involved would be as likely to get sued if the car turned up with a scratch in the paint as when something more serious happened; it's just self-defense. Make the arrest, or write the citation, and let the court sort it out so the LEO doesn't get sued if he's wrong.

Would I make a complaint against the Trooper? NO, but I would stop by the office and see if there was some way to contest that "guide" referred to. Nobody want's to make a bogus arrest, and your input may actually be appreciated.

Stu.
KG5FTK 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Richard, some things you might want to think more about.

1. Even though jail may be only a remote possibility, you need to talk to an attorney. Jail ain't fun.

2. Don't underestimate the system. Cops are not your friend. NY cops kill unarmed people dead, murder, and get away with it using pathetic exuses that would put anyone other than a cop on death row for the same circumstance.

3. Keep in mind that cops, judges, city attorney's or prosecutors all get their paychecks from the same employer. Don't trust these people ever to do the right thing. You are just another ant to step on to these people.

4. Don't think you can suck up to these people. They will take it as a sign of weakness. Act professional but let them know you will not be intimidated and don't ever defer to them. Fight them or get screwed.
N1KB 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Richard,

Here is the message I sent you May 31:


-----Original Message-----
From: Hennessee, John, N1KB
Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2003 4:34 PM
To: 'kc5gax@twcny.rr.com'
Cc: Hagy Jennifer, N1TDY; Lindquist, Rick, N1RL; 'rholling@fcc.gov'; Fuller, Bernie (Dir, Atlantic)
Subject: FW: New York ham ticketed


Richard.

I believe that the officer was not aware that there is a preemption for amateurs who have the "extended receive" on their transceivers, such as a VHF transceiver which receives, but will not transmit outside the 2 meter or other amateur bands. This preemption does not apply if the transceiver is capable of transmitting outside the amateur bands. The amateur preemption can be found at http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/pr91-36/pr91-36.html. You may want to make sure that it is presented at the hearing. You may want to contact an ARRL Volunteer Counsel, that is, an amateur who is also an amateur in your area, who may be able to get it settled without going to court. You can find the referral database at http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/vci.html. 73,

John, N1KB

John C. Hennessee, N1KB
Regulatory Information Specialist
Field and Educational Services Department

The above preemption DOES NOT apply if the transceiver is capable of TRANSMITTING outside the amateur bands.

John, N1KB
CASPER669 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Well, after reading this post and the replies, I've done a little investigation of my own. Go to this site:

http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/crimnet/ccman/vtl01.pdf

This is a copy of the 'charge codes', which - if I'm not mistaken - most troopers/police officers are working off of. Notice that the portion about HAM or Amatuer Radio Operators is not present in this charge code. This is why she (the officer) did not want to hear about him being a licensed radio operator. It's not in her guide! This seems a bit like an allowance for harrassment. Or, what I prefer to believe is that someone 'goofed' when writing this. It completely ignores Federally licensed radio operators. But to what extent? Maybe, they (meaning the higher powers/ups) don't want 'thinking' police officers. I've a cousin who is a detective (forget which grade) that I will ask about this, as well as his interpretation of this particular law. Was the officer doing her job? Based on the charge code guide, absolutely. Does she have any knowledge about Amatuer Radio? Well, unless she's an operator herself, the charge code does not suggest or even hint anything of the sort. Will he beat the ticket? If he's polite, absolutely!

I bring this to everyone's attention. Go to the site I listed above. Download this file and keep it for future referrence. This is what the officers have to work with. Apparently, it doesn't allow for 'thinking outside the box'. This is not meant to be a derogatory statement to anyone in the law enforcement community. I enjoy and always look forward to working with and even hanging out with officers, which I do more often than not. I just think that the higher-ups don't allow for or encourage a creative thought process. Well, it's my 2 cents worth. 73 and God bless!

Chris KC2KFW
KC2KUW 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I live in New York and this is the second ham I have heard of getting a ticket by the State Police in the last few weeks. The one I heard from was going through a seatbelt checkpoint. I thought they were supposed to only ticket violators of the seatbelt law or whatever the checkpoint was set up to find? Our rights are being eroded daily by Big Brother. People had better quit being so receptive to the so called Freedom Protecting laws that are being passed. Read the the Patriot Act, it is not very patriotic.
I have just finished making copies of all pertenent materials relating to my ham activities and put them in an envelope in the glovebox. Hopefully this will fend off a ticket from an uniformed officer.
AC2RC 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
You can get in NY, as I have , an Emergency Services license plate with your call sign. That might help.
AG4RQ 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
KC4EOE says: "This may just be another example of our Police Force gone overboard with all the new anti-terrorist and homeland security laws."

This is like a cat chasing its tail. Isn't amateur radio supposed to be a part of homeland security? Maybe what the ARRL and hams in general need to be doing is petitioning Tom Ridge about ham related matters and how we're hindered by uninformed law enforcement officers and unreasonable statutes. Anyone who is involved with homeland security should be exempt from any statutes that hinder that activity. Tom Ridge needs to see the ARRL's latest video "Amateur Radio Today".

On 9/11/2001, hams went into action at Ground Zero to provide emergency communications. Almost two years later, a ham in the same state (NY) is given a ticket for possessing a ham radio. There's something wrong here.

To Richard (KC5GAX) I wish the best of luck in court. I hope the judge dismisses this mess. This uninformed officer needs to be sent for training and education on what amateur radio is and what we do, and what the difference is between a scanner and a ham radio.
N2KMF 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Best advice is to bring a copy of your amateur license, the relevent VTL statute, and the owners manual for the radio (or a picture). The judge will toss the ticket.

I was asked about my radios a couple of times during traffic stops. Generally, if you explain that they are a ham radio, and you are polite, nothing will come of it. I did however take to carrying a copy of VTL397 in my glovebox, with the ham radio section highlighted, just in case. I never had to use it, however. I don't bother anymore. The last two times I have been pulled over were in my wife's car, but I had a handheld in my pocket. They never asked me about it. Probably thought it was a cellphone or an FRS radio.

Some practical advice: If you are being pulled over, and you WERE listening to a police frequency, flip the memory to a local repeater and turn the radio off. After all, you turn off the car radio when you get pulled over, right? At any rate, if the officer is trying to bust you for that you can claim the radio was tuned to a (ie., being operated on) a valid ham radio frequency. If you were in the middle of a QSO, tell the other person you have to go QRT because you are being pulled over. Now you have a witness that can testify that you were operating the radio on ham radio frequencies.

Frankly, though, I've never heard of anyone actually being fined or jailed for having a ham radio in their car, even if it was tuned to police frequencies. It is just too easy to turn it off or flip to a different memory channel. Worse case scenario: You have to take time to go to court and prove the officer misapplied the law.
K3ZD 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
If I lived in, or traveled in New York State with a mobile station, I would carry a copy of the law with me to show to any police officer who might have questions.
K2LES 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
A few things...

1. Appear in court, bring your radio license and a copy of VTL 397 and plead not guilty. It may help to bring in a photo of the radios in your car (with microphones) and owners manual of the rigs in question, etc. There's a 99% chance that it'll be dismissed at arraignment - end of discussion.

If it's not dismissed, then ask for a copy of the officer's supporting deposition. They'll subpeona the trooper to send it to you. They have to send it since the ticket that the summons was written on is called a simplified information that lists the basic information - but gives no supporting details as to the charge. Because it's a misdemeanor, there should be a detailled information or supporting deposition in your docket that the judge should give you a copy of. If you don't get it in time for your next court date - then usually the case is dismissed since they (the court or officer) must give it to you upon request.

If by some far flung chance in hell that you are found guilty, it's likely that it'll be dismissed in contemplation of dismissal - meaning if you stay out of trouble for the next 6 months - it's automatically dismissed. Worst case scenario? You're looking at a few hours in court, a small fine - $100 or so and no jail time.

When you come to court - dress appropriately, be calm, respectful and courteous. State your case and stick to the facts. Judges prefer to be called "judge", "your honor" or simply "sir". Don't refer to the trooper as a cop, pig, stormtrooper, nazi, etc or go off into some conspiracy theory.

Don't bother hiring a lawyer for this. He'll be of little help - so save your money.

Remember, the trooper was only doing her job.

2. Many police officers are trained to write the summons - even if there's some doubt about the charge knowing that the courts will sort it out. If you walked into someone's house, you may very well be charged with burglary even though the crime you actually committed is trespass. But the cop wasn't there so you get the higher charge where in court you'll likely plea down to a simple trespass. Since the trooper is most likely not an expert in radios - she assumed that was a scanner. She had enough probable cause to make the traffic stop and write the ticket for VTL 397.

3. Write your state assemblyman and senator requesting the law be abolished or modified. See the Yahoo Group that NF2G mentioned for more details.

4. If you're in the military, why didn't you ID yourself as such? It's called a professional courtesy that members of the law enforcement community bestow upon other officers, firemen, members of the military, judges, key politicians, etc. for minor traffic violations.

As a part time court officer since 1991, I've yet to see a VTL 397 on the docket. It's a rarely enforced statute. Sounds like you got stopped by a gung-ho rookie or a hardass trooper looking for something to do on a slow night. Fortunately they're the exception to the rule.

Keep us posted.

K2LES
KA8VIT 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Actually, the cop was doing the correct thing. When they issue a ticket or arresting someone, they are not saying you are guilty. They are saying that there was a crime committed and you may have committed it.

A cop can not be an expert on everything in the law books. He also, probably has no idea of what frequencies you are allowed to use, or even what frequencies that HIS own department uses.

He probably figured, let the judge figure it out and issued a citation.

Keep us informed.

Bill KA8VIT
KE4MOB 2003-06-02
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
N2MDB nailed it. Take a copy of PR 91-36 with you and point out secs 11 thru 14 to the judge.

I'm glad Matt pointed this out!

Steve, KE4MOB
KC4EOE 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The outcome will be determined by the Judge's full interpretation of the written statute.
***"in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs."***
This final paragraph of the statute is where you may run into trouble with the court. I do not believe that the frequencies designated to your local Police/Fire/Rescue (trunking) are Amateur related. Don't get me wrong, I am on your side, as I too have scanners and believe it is my constitutional right to listen to any thing I wish, as long as I do not use the information I hear to my advantage. Good luck in court.
KC4EOE 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The outcome will be determined by the Judge's full interpretation of the written statute.
***"in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs."***
This final paragraph of the statute is where you may run into trouble with the court. I do not believe that the frequencies designated to your local Police/Fire/Rescue (trunking) are Amateur related. Don't get me wrong, I am on your side, as I too have scanners and believe it is my constitutional right to listen to any thing I wish, as long as I do not use the information I hear to my advantage. This may just be another example of our Police Force gone overboard with all the new anti-terrorist and homeland security laws.

N8VQJ 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Well I think that this law is bogus in teh first place. Why is it illegal to recieve police frequencies while driving? Even if you did have transmit available on the police band would you use it? This is exactly why I never mod any of my radios to get transmit on bands I don't have privledges on. Never. Never. Not even a mod to do FRS (although I wish someone would include FRS on a ham rig...make it easier for me to talk to my non-licensed spouse). The law needs some serious looking into. Personally, I think the main reason this law was established was not about receiving the police freqs, but causing malicious interferance. A scanner won't do this and neither will a proper transciever with general coverage reciever. Plus, most of the general coverage recievers in ham gear are not trunk tracking and are thus useless for listening to police. Plus, if the police are SO concerned about privacy on the radio, the either should not use it, or go to a digital radio with encryption on it. If it goes out on the air, it's recieveable. Even cellular phones (just because you can't buy a radio to recieve cellular traffic does not mean you can't build one or mod another one).

Now, for fighting the ticket.....you just need to demonstrate this to the judge. Get a lawyer. I'd see if the ARRL could help you out on this in case you don't have the funds. Most likely even without one, it may even be dismissed and little miss police officer will get egg on her face (I think he said it was a woman.....). You also did a good thing be reporting this to the FCC. They may not even be aware of the law. If you do get past without ARRL help, make sure you notify them anyway. They need to know of silly laws like this. My fear right now is that with all of this cell phones are dangerous while driving (never mind that all at the same time the idiot on the cellphone is drinking coffee, reading the paper and dfriving with his knees!) stuff going about someone will try to make it illegal to do mobile stations.
K2FRD 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
A Yahoo email group (reflector/list) was established some time ago
to discuss and eventually change New York State's outdated and ambiguous
"Scanner Law", VTL-397. All are welcome to join. Sign up at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Modify_NYSVTL397/
WA2JJH 2003-06-02
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Sorry for your hassel. I am sure when you and/or lawyer
bring up all the public service work hams have provided over the years, the judge will dismiss the case.

During 9/11 Ham communications handled much emergency traffic.

I guess with recent events, many police are suspicious of anyone that can receive thier frequencies. Many do not even know HAM radio still exist's, along with it's long tradition of handling emergency traffic when asked by local police.

In general, HAMS are one the most law abidding group of people. You rarly here of HAM bank robbers, Ham kidnappers, ham drug deslers, ham convienience store stick up guys, ect.

Police do not like ambulance chasers. There are low lifes that use scanners to get to a fender bender.
They then to proceed to offer bogus legsl services, crooked pain DR's, or ultrs high priced towing.

It might be a good ideas if all MOS(members of ervice) are briefed on how HAM radio has a rich history
of public service in emergency situations.

Before cell phones, Many a ham with a mobile or H-T would get on a local repeater and ask for someone to
phone the police when the ham saw a crime.

Yeah, I would be pretty angry if it happend to me.
Like another poster said, play it cool. Do not show the outrage.

The police should have a better understanding of what hams do!

73 MIKE
KB2VUQ 2003-06-02
Joke of the day...read this paragraph again! (CAUT
...or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city..."

SSSSooooooo...........
Are they now issuing permits to jam the police?
It would seem to me that...If you:

A)First secure a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city, then you could:

B)In any way knowingly interfere with the transmission of radio messages by the police.

Ok, so I'm off on a tangent, but if you really
take that paragraph literally, what the hell does
it really mean? What else could it mean?

Now, back to the show!

Best Regards,
Dennis
N0RKX 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Geez!!!
Some of the people in this discussion really need some counseling. A conspiracy behind every bush. Driving and a drivers license are not a constitutionally guaranteed right, they are a privilege granted by the state. If you don't like a particular driving regulation either lobby to change it or quit driving.

Has it occured to anyone that we are hearing only one side of the story here?

Seems pretty clear to me that the officer in question hasn't read the entire statute and that this whole thing will go away in court if this is all there is to the story.
NA2A 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
That comment was uncalled for.
NF2G 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
There have been a lot of good and not-so-good responses to this situation. A group of us, led by a ham operator in the Capital District who also happens to be a retired police chief (John, KB2KFV) had started an informational group on Yahoogroups to discuss changing the law. After many weeks of discussions and efforts to nail down some actual occurrences of hams being prosecuted under S.397, most of us concluded that there just wasn't much of an issue.

Maybe we were premature.

Anyway, you might find some interesting pointers in the Modify_NYSVTL397 list at yahoogroups.com. Also, if you're interested in the current state of the law in New York, visit the NF2G Scannist Pages - NY Laws page at http://nf2g.com/scannist/nys_index.html - click on Laws & Regs.

One final comment - please DO NOT follow the suggestion somebody made to file a complaint against the trooper after your acquittal. All that will do is touch off a feud between the local State Police and the local ham operators. Then we're all in trouble.

73 de Dave, NF2G, NYSING-01
MACJ
N3NL 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Response to K0RGR. Hello, if we will be required to
have travel permits to move about in the USA, then
our freedom will be gone. Do you think that Americans
will put up with that?
73, Nickolaus E. Leggett, N3NL
RobertKoernerExAE7G 2003-06-01
RE: Fight Back
"...or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or board of the city..."

Hence, the up to $1K fine and or jail time.

73
Bob
WB4QNG 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Sounds like the policeman didn't know the whole law. I can understand that with all the laws on the books. I know it is a hassel but being very honest when I drive I know I deserve to be pulled over at least once a day. I am sure this will be thrown out of court. If it isn't then I will start to worry. I know years ago when you had to obtain permission to have a ham radio in your car to take it into Canada I ran into some border guards that didn't know what they were doing. They ask me what the two meter rig I told them and they said I couldn't bring it in. I pulled out the proper pappers she looked at it and sent me over to another area. She looked at the paper and said she never seen it before and had three more guards search every inch of my car and luggage. Not finding anything she handed my paper back and sent me and my family to see a supervisor. He read the paper told me it look like I new what was going on and wish me a good stay in Canada. It scared my family to death. They knew we were all going to spend the rest of our lives in a Candaian jail. I would have understood if this was some small crossing but this was in Winsor across from Detroit. Good luck to you and please let us know what happens
K7LA 2003-06-01
Fight Back
If you are an ARRL member, take advantage of the League's Volunteer Counsel program. See
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/local/vci.html

After you beat this bogus ticket in court, make sure you stop by the local state police barracks, request a sworn personnel complaint form, file one against the issuing officer and request hat he be remanded for additional training to tell the difference between a scanner and an amateur transceiver.
KC5GAX 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I forgot to mention the speed limit. I was in a 55mph zone which has a 40 mph speed trap of about 1/2 mile, and then back to 55mph. Of course, theres PC to stop me, along the DUI line. I have no problem with that. My problem is with the severity of the fine/jail. You guy's have been very helpful. Let's hope the judge see's it that way. de KC5GAX
K0RGR 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I would certainly encourage you to contact ARRL, and in spite of the cost, you may want to consider a lawyer. ARRL should be able to provde significant advice and legal precedents, if any. Call, don't write...

The state of Minnesota has an almost identical law.

Some years ago, a controversy erupted here because the State Police contended that even if the amateur who installed the mobile rig was exempt under State and Federal law, if his WIFE were driving the car without him present, SHE could be convicted of the crime! I have not permanently installed a rig in my wife's car ever since because of this, and I have never progammed anything but ham frequencies into any of my radios.

Frankly, it's not much fun worrying if I might be pulled over and questioned by the local police.
In case you weren't paying attention, the Feds blackmailed all the states into enforcing 100% seatbelt compliance or losing their Federal highway funds. Our former Governor Ventura told them to take a hike, but the new Republican dutifully bent over and kissed arse. So now, cops are stopping people they suspect of not wearing seatbelts, and finding lots of interesting violations to charge them with at the same time.

Now, when you are pulled over, they check your seatbelt, your license and your registration. Next, they will be asking to see your travel permit, national identity card, and proof that you have never been part of any subversive organization, like the Democratic Party. I'm sure the Extreme Court will vote 5-4 to uphold all of it.

Yeah, I know I'm paranoid, but I really think we all have a reason to be.

Fortunately, however, you can now carry a loaded gun in your car if you pay $100 for a permit, which they must issue to any non-felons, except those who have recently threatened their wives. Maybe we can get them to allow us to carry our radios after a background check and payment of a small bribe?
N0MUD 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Kc5gax, I am a retired Police Officer and a Ham radio operator. I was a licensed operator while I was a full time on duty officer and carried an HT in my police car and had it on. If I didn't then my Police Chief, also a ham, would not have been able to call me unofficially of course. If I didn't have the HT on then he would call me on the Police Channel and tell me to switch to the other radio meaning he wanted me to go to the HT so I did. I really hope I don't ever get to opportunity to talk to some of the supposedly Ham radio operators that have responded. It's obvious that the Officers that stopped you had no idea what a ham radio and a scanner look like or they might have made a different decision that night. At that time of night depending on the way you was driving I would have stopped you too as I was a DUI expert. Trust me a jeep will violate speed laws and it's not the vehicle that was being stopped but the driver. Please send a polite letter to the Chief along with a copy of your Ham ticket to show you are licensed and it's probable he will have that portion of the ticket removed. If not then as some of your ham friends have mentioned here just politely show the judge your FCC ticket and if possible the radio. Also if you can take in a J-pole plug it into the radio and turn it on and let the judge hear for themselves. Trust me I have lost traffic cases in court and all it did was make me a better officer for it as I never made the same mistake twice. All I can say for you is I hope you do win that portion of the ticket and if not then contact ARRL and the FCC and see what they can do for you as your rights as a licensed ham are being violated whether it's state, local or feds you have the right to your day in court. For some of YOUR fellow hams that have responded that used words like "NAZI" STORMTROOPERS ETC. Well I just won't respond to them. But to you sir "GOOD LUCK". Mike,
KG5FTK 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
When you go to court, the state has the burden of proof. Do you think the cop knows which frequencies are in use in the whole state and which frequencies your radios can receive? You don't have the burden of proof, make the cop explain.
KC5GAX 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
What I was doing?..... Driving home at about 0230 in the am from a friend's house, the officer followed me appx two miles stopping me about 10 houses down from mine. The initial reason for the stop was "erratic driving". I asked how driving 40mph could be considered erratic? "I know I wasn't speeding, this Jeep Wrangler will never break the land speed record, it's a Jeep." They took my license and registration, and returned to my vehicle with the ticket. "Your ham license is not a letter from a local governing authority, do you have one?" "My license is the letter." She then stated, that's not good enough. As I tried to explain, I was told that she didn't have time to argue case law on the roadside, here's your violation, be in court 0700 on 9 June 03 and tell it to the Judge. Go figure
N2MWE 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The scanner law is what I would classify as a "ballbreaker" summons. There are many factors that have to go into this, as other posters have mentioned. Were you courteous to the officer? What were you originally stopped for? Having been in NY Law Enforcement for twenty years, this is only one of a handful of scanner summonses I've heard of, at least in southern NYS.
Go to court, explain the amateur radios. Be courteous. Talk to the trooper before the case, if he or she is there. Calmly explain the deal with ham radio. You would be surprised...it might go away.
73 de Kieran
N0RKX 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
"Nothing in this section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid amateur radio operator's license issued by the federal communications commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the federal communications commission to duly licensed radio amateurs."
Slam dunk.
You win.
Case closed.
N2MDB 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Several users have suggested that if it can receive outside of the ham bands, whether it was programmed to or not, he is in violation of NYS Law. While that may be true...NYS law is federally preempted in part by the FCC's PR91-36 ruling, which says that merely having a *ham radio* that has out of band RX is not, and can not be, illegal.

I'm not a lawyer...

KC8QCZ 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The one question I have is this ham a member of ARRL or is the ARRL aware of this incident? I should think that this is one of the reasons we pay dues and is something that they should get involved in on a statewide level to avoid any more incidents like this.
KC2KMA 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I have a 2 meter mobile in my vehicle that does not receive outside the amateur frequencies. There is no exemption for Ham radio operators who's radios can receive police frequencies. I am sorry that the ticket was issued but unless you can prove that your mobile radio cannot recieve outside of the amateur frequencies it is still considered a scanner under NYS law. If you do not agree with it get the law changed or admended.
KC2GOC 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The key part of the New York law, as was explained to me one time when I was pulled over is:

Was there any police frequencies programmed into your radio at the time.

The New York law has the clause about amatuer radio operators on appropriate frequencies. The police frequencies are not appropriate, and may be what the officer will attempt to hang him on.
NC2F 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Interesting thread. There could be some issues brought to light that may be of some benefit for you. Lets look at the meat of the section being applied to you:

"A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties,who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use"

The trooper had to establish two elements here:

1. At the time of violation you were NOT a police officer or peace officing performing your special duties.

2. The Officer at somepoint during the stop established that you possessed a radio that was able to receive police designated frequencies in your vehicle.

How was this established? Your admission? Did you have Police Frequencies in programmed Memories? At any time did the Trooper hear any police transmissions via your radio? And finally, was your radio taken as evidence?

At face value, it's my opinion that even if all these elements were established by the trooper, he/she used poor discretion based upon your assertion that you showed that you were a licensed amateur radio operator.

But Discretion is just that. So one can ask what made the trooper write you the ticket? Here are factors that may be in play:

What violation(s) were you initially stopped for?

What was your demeanor with the trooper while explaining your radio and your amateur radio license?

There could be other factors to consider, but it could lead to speculation from a third party like myself.

In the end, I think some of the suggestions made by others here like contacting the league and maybe even the fcc are good ones.

You may have what is called an "Affirmative defense" that the you bought the radio for use on the amateur bands but it is manufactured with wide band coverage from the manufactuer without any modifications on your part. (You would need to bring the radio specs to court). I am also making the assumption you were NOT using this radio to monitor Police frequencies in your vehicle (Were you?). If you were that could work very much against you.

Of course all of this is just my opionion and not any formal advice. The best advice may be to consult a defense attorney who is familiar with NYS VTL.

Good Luck!!

-Dennis

KG5FTK 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Your Nazi government at work!
N5QXP 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
If a police officer can get by with not knowing the law to the fullest extent, as some people have suggested, then why do they throw "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" at you?
N2MDB 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Well he may have been pulled over during one of the many many "click it or get a ticket" checks that the troopers are doing here in NY lately. They are basically "seat belt" patrols.

Anyway, I would like to draw your attention to:
PR 91-36, which as I understand it, would provide you federal premption

http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/pr91-36/pr91-36.html
WB2TPS 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
NYS Troopers don't stop cars to check for scanners. What were you doing that caught his attention?

NYS does not want people driving around with police receivers in their cars. The reason should be obvious.

The FCC does not have jurisdiction over state vehicle and traffic laws. It would have been wiser to contact the ARRL and ask for their help.
In any event, it is unlikely that the maximum sentence and fine will be ordered unless you have a record or have really pissed them off.
W7COM 2003-06-01
Plates?
Two questions for KC5GAX:

Did you have ham plates on the car when you were pulled over?

Were you pulled over because you had all the antennas or was this not the primary reason you were stopped?

-Joe
KB1IVU 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Why don't you call Hillary? I'm sure she would help you out.
K5JEP 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I would do just like everyone else said and just play it cool. As a police officer, I understand your situation where some of my co-workers may not due to ignorance. They simply dont know. Just show the judge your license and inform him or her that the primary use of those radios are for Amateur Radio use. In the end Officer Rambo will have egg on his face and will cause him to do one of two things:

1. Learn more about the Amateur Radio use
2. Learn more about his job.

I do have one question, have you done any kind of research to see if this law was changed or amended after the 9/11 attack? If not, maybe you need to get with your local government representative and see about amending a clause in that law that pertains to Amateur Radio Equiptment that may be capable of recieving the frequency but its primary use is for Amateur use and must hold a valid FCC license. (note: that is what myself and several other ham friends and police officers have done in my area, at current it is still being reviewed)

Joe Pomponio
K5JEP
N6TGK 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I re-read my post and I may have used the wrong term. I said officers are ignorant or don't want to be corrected. Really, what it comes down to is they may be mis-informed or not understand the law in it's entirety. They're a proud bunch and don't like being told how to do their job by the average citizen. In a way, that's unfortunate. In this particular case no one is saying the officer is stupid, just uninformed. But instead of listening to what's being said and understanding it, the officer is going to end up looking dumb.
KA4KOE 2003-06-01
RE: New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Hopefully Mr. Hollingsworth will weigh in on this issue.

Philip
KG2MY 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
Richard,

N6TGK is absolutely right. Play it cool and don't sweat it. The judge will dismiss the ticket, and the officer will have egg on his face.

It can be very unnerving for a law-abiding citizen to receive such a citation. Police officers are not judges or lawyers. They don't know the law to the letter. They have to make split second decisions based on their own interpretation of the law. The judges sort it out later. Unfortunately, law-abiding citizens sometimes get caught up in their zeal.

Tony
N6TGK 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
That's too bad. I've found most officers either to be ignorant or they hate to be corrected. I'm not sure which. I've been cited for not having a CA license, even though the section for which they wrote me up for states NOTHING about needing a CA license, only that the driver must have a valid license issued to him or her in their possesion when driving on any highway or road. The last time I tried to tell the officer that he didn't want to hear it. What happened? I plead not guilty, it went to trial. He showed up. I produced a copy of the section for which I was written, showed the judge that my AZ license was valid and the violation was dismissed. As far as radios are concerned... one time a few years back, my friend and I were sitting in a K-mart parking lot trying to decide where we wanted to get dinner. The next thing I know a San Diego PD officer and her partner pull up behind us and start hassling us. A burger joint within the same strip mall had called the police regarding an interference problem with their wireless drive thru system. The officers saw my antennas and assumed I was the problem. I didn't have a copy of my amatuer radio license with me at the time and the main officer looked over at her partner and said, "Should I write him up for it?" At the time this happened, I was a dispatcher for the Riverside County Sheriff so I was familiar with what officers can and cannot do so I informed her that there was no section in the penal code or vehicle code for which she could write me up for not having my radio license... it was an FCC issue. I also told her that while whatever was happening at the burger place might appear to be a disturbance (section 415 p.c.), again, it was an FCC issue since it was occuring to their radio system. Turns out the problem was from a McDonald's down the street that got a new system that was on the same frequency. Dorks.

In this particular case, it should and probably will be thrown out. If it were me, being the person I am, I'd plead not guilty, carry it over for trial and then make the officer look stupid when you produce documentation proving you weren't in violation (i.e. your license and a copy of the section for which you were written up for.)

I'm not saying I don't respect law enforcement officals. I do and I think they're underpaid for what they do considering the sports figures and celebrities that don't do squat and get millions. I just don't like it when they take their "power" too far because the average citizen doesn't know what officers can and can't do.
KD7EFQ 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
I agree with W7COM, However, MAKE SURE the officer, and his chief and precinct are fully informed of the exemption from Amateurs. Maybe you could ask the Judge to contact the officers chief. Too many kindergarten cops with the Gimme a Badge and authority in this day and age never even heard of Amateur Radio or are too self- righteous to care. 73's:-)
W2MSK 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
The way the law appears to read, if you were monitoring or had the capability to monitor the police frequencies using the wideband receive capability of the IC-706 you were still in violation. Hope the judge does not understand this technicality.
W7COM 2003-06-01
New York Ham Ticketed for Mobile Radios:
It sounds like you just need to show the judge your license. Per the state law the trooper was wrong. If you want to pursue the issue with the state patrol I would highly suggest that you get a lawyer first. Don't get hot in court over this.. the judge will see that it was a bad ticket and I'm sure it will get back to the trooper via the back channel.

Good luck.

Joe