Streaming scanner - legalities

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KI4LIV

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We all know that there are either federal or state laws that make punishment for use of a scanner during the commission of a crime more severe than if the scanner were not used.

So...

Lets just say that you are running a streaming scanner online - using Windows Media Encoder.

Some Joe Schmoe learns about this stream, and decides to stream the scanner on his Windows Mobile cellular phone via it's Windows Media Player application. He then uses the stream to monitor the local law enforcement during commission of a crime - and gets CAUGHT.

So - since he technically wasn't using a scanner, can he be charged with using a scanner during the commission of a crime?

Would you now become criminally liable because you were providing the audio stream/feed of the scanner?

These are just a few things I was throwing around in my head today - so - please humor my questions :)

Let me know what you think!
 

scrotumola

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Statutes will vary state by state. Here in Texas, this subject could be charged (in addition to the original charge) with possession of a criminal instrument, by which the phone is used in the commission of a crime.

Interesting, huh?

Typically, the possession or use of a screwdriver or putty knife is not illegal, however, if it is used in the commission of a crime its use is.

Here if a known burglar carrying a backpack is seen, all an officer has to do is develop his own probable cause and, if in the course of a legal search finds items such as coat hangers, spark plugs, screwdrivers, prybar etc. and even if there hasn't been a crime yet committed- a seasoned officer can charge the suspect with possession of a criminal instrument.

Now getting back to the streamer. If it can be PROVEN that the streamer put up the stream with the intent of facilitating/assisting the commission of a crime, he becomes party to the crime and culpable to being charged. If he provides it for a burglary ring, conspiracy to commit xx crime or organized crime charges can be filed. The burden of proof of intent would have to be made, however.

Disclaimer: (And I reiterate) Statutes vary from state to state. I am not an attorney, but I work for one and previously spent 13 years in law enforcement.
 
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KI4LIV

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When I was an officer in Los Angeles, my partner used to be a locksmith. We had PC to search a guy we stopped, found on him a lock-pick set... His response , "I'm a repo man" and sure enough he was, as we verified by him showing us his repo license - but - if my partner hadn't been a locksmith, I would have never have known that this lock-pick set he was in possession of was for a HOUSE-type lock - NOT a car!

So - yes - he was charged with possession of burglary tools even though no crime had been committed related to those tools (that we knew of!).

Had it have been a lock-pick set for a vehicle, he would have been cut loose.
 

commstar

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The penal code in California never mentions the word scanner. From most statues around the US I have read, the scanner is not the crime, the use of the information is.

While there are also laws in various states against scanners speciifcally, The crime generally is the use of the information during a crime not the use of the scanner.YMMV.

Former 830.1?
 

KI4LIV

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Yes, but, there are plenty of dumb criminals out there - otherwise you wouldn't find websites and news segments dedicated to "Dumb crime".
 

AZScanner

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JWhipple said:
Yes, but, there are plenty of dumb criminals out there - otherwise you wouldn't find websites and news segments dedicated to "Dumb crime".
True enough. We had a gang of morons out here a few years back robbing Sonic Drive-Ins. They were fast and preferred Sonic's so they had been dubbed the "Sonic Bandits" by the media. Well, when they finally got caught rumor has it they had an arsenal of scanners with 'em, all programmed to the wrong channels. They never even knew what hit 'em when the raid went down.

Dumb-da-dumb-dumb DUUUUMMMMMB!!! :D
 

hoser147

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If the Bad Guys wanted to monitor why would they take a chance with a feed that has many frequencies and could get alot of traffic they didnt want over a scanner where they could lock onto the dept.s they wanted to monitor. If you are really worried about that you can run an FD feed only, and not have to worry about it. Just my 2 cents Hoser
 

scrotumola

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A little off topic, but when I was on patrol years ago, we received intel info from a neighboring city that indicated that burglars were caught with a radar detector with external battery taped to them. When a patrol car neared, the detector would go off, warning them of nearby or imminent police presence.

Now I was always a believer in 'instant on' technology, but I have to admit I knew plenty of officers that constantly announced their presence by keeping their radar units transmitting constantly.
 

lbpd719

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and many streams are not in real time.. which is a plus for the "local" listener. Mine runs about 4 minutes behind, and I can see a spike in use after code-3 runs..

Currently 830.1 BTW
 

rcvmo

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with possession of a criminal instrument, by which the phone is used in the commission of a crime.

It can also be contexted as using a computer to commit a crime as well if the DA does his homework properly.

rcvmo
 
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