Amended in Senate April 7, 2015

Amended in Senate March 11, 2015

Senate BillNo. 170


Introduced by Senator Gaines

February 5, 2015


An act to add Sectionsbegin delete 4577, 4578, and 4579end deletebegin insert 4577 and 4578end insert to the Penal Code, relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 170, as amended, Gaines. Unmanned aircraft systems: correctional facilities.

Existing federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system by September 30, 2015. Existing federal law requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and implement operational and certification requirements for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system by December 31, 2015.

Existing state law generally prohibits a person from bringing, possessing, distributing, or selling certain devices and substances, including, among other things, alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, and deadly weapons, in state prison or a jail. Existing law also prohibits unauthorized communication with inmates in state prison or a jail. Existing law provides criminal penalties for violations of these provisions.

This bill would make a person who uses an unmanned aircraft system, as defined, to commit a violation of those provisions,begin delete guilty of a felony, and would requireend deletebegin insert subject toend insert the imposition of a sentence of one year of imprisonmentbegin insert or a doubled fine, as specified,end insert in addition to any other penalty provided by law.

This bill would make a person who knowingly and intentionally operates an unmanned aircraft system below the navigable airspace overlaying a state prisonbegin insert or a jailend insert guilty of a misdemeanor.begin delete The bill would also make a person who knowingly and intentionally captures images or data of a state prison through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system guilty of a misdemeanor.end delete The bill would make these misdemeanor provisions inapplicable to a person employed by the prisonbegin insert or jailend insert acting within the scope of his or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitationbegin insert or the county sheriffend insert. By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 4577 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

2

4577.  

(a) (1) When a person uses an unmanned aircraft system
3to commit a violation of this chapter,begin delete the person is guilty of a felony
4andend delete
begin insert excluding Section 4575 or 4576,end insert a sentence of one year of
5imprisonment shall be imposed in addition to any other penalty
6provided by law.

begin insert

7(2) When a person uses an unmanned aircraft system to commit
8a violation of Section 4575 or 4576, the maximum or prescribed
9amounts of fines for offenses in those sections shall be doubled in
10addition to any other penalty provided by law.

end insert
begin delete

11(2)

end delete

12begin insert(3)end insert This subdivision does not apply to a violation of Section
134578 or 4579.

14(b) For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

15(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated
16without the possibility of direct human intervention from within
17or on the aircraft.

P3    1(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
2and associated elements, including, but not limited to,
3communication links and the components that control the
4unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to
5operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

6

SEC. 2.  

Section 4578 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

7

4578.  

(a) Except as provided inbegin delete subdivision (b),end deletebegin insert subdivisions
8(b) and (c),end insert
a person who knowingly and intentionally operates an
9unmanned aircraft system below the navigable airspace, as defined
10in Section 42102 of Title 49 of the United States Code, overlaying
11a state prisonbegin insert or a jailend insert is guilty of a misdemeanor.

12(b) This section does not apply to a person employed by the
13prison who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope
14of his or her employment, or a person who receives prior
15permission from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
16to operate the unmanned aircraft systembegin insert over the prisonend insert.

begin insert

17(c) This section does not apply to a person employed by the jail
18who operates the unmanned aircraft system within the scope of
19his or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission
20from the county sheriff to operate the unmanned aircraft system
21over the jail.

end insert
begin delete22

SEC. 3.  

Section 4579 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

23

4579.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a person who
24knowingly and intentionally captures images or data of a state
25prison through the operation of an unmanned aircraft system is
26guilty of a misdemeanor.

27(b) This section does not apply to a person employed by the
28prison who captures images or data of a state prison through the
29operation of an unmanned aircraft system within the scope of his
30or her employment, or a person who receives prior permission
31from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to capture
32images or data of a state prison through the operation of an
33unmanned aircraft system.

end delete
34

begin deleteSEC. 4.end delete
35begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
36Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
37the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
38district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
39infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
40for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
P4    1the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
2the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
3Constitution.



O

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