The number of drones on the market has quickly increased as their capabilities have become more and more apparent.
Amazon experimented with the technology to make deliveries. The construction industry has used drones to survey sites for potential dangers. But, one use most of us wouldn’t have anticipated is how drones can service prisoners.
According to Georgia corrections officials, drones have been used for years now to deliver prisoners contraband, including illicit drugs and cellphones. These drops are spotted about 25 times each year, but officials can’t be sure of how many attempts are successful.
New restrictions have been proposed
Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick has responded to this activity with Senate Bill 6. The legislation would make it illegal to fly a drove over a prison or jail intentionally.
Using a drone to deliver contraband would be punishable by a year in prison at the minimum or up to a ten-year sentence. The bill also proposes that those who use a drone with the intention of photographing or recording a prison should face a minimum sentence of one year in jail or up to five years.
A drone operator’s right to the sky is currently mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Without certain certifications, permits and waivers, an operator could face fines for flying a drone over a crowd, on someone else’s private property, up to certain altitudes or after sundown.
When you need a defense
While this bill has not yet passed, drone operators and prisoners who take advantage of the drops should be prepared for the potential consequences they could face. If you are facing charges, consult with an attorney who is privy to the debate and changing opinions regarding drone use.