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Danz la Nuit
06-05-2011, 7:40 PM
Are there any laws regarding scanners & their usage?

I have heard possible FUD along the lines of it being illegal to have one turned on inside your vehicle while driving and other similar claims.

ie:
http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pRS1C-5372489_rshalt1_dt.jpg (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3348287)

Danz la Nuit
06-05-2011, 7:43 PM
Only thing I can find is this

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/1/15/1.5/s636.5

Any person not authorized by the sender, who intercepts any public safety radio service communication, by use of a scanner or any other means, for the purpose of using that communication to assist in the commission of a criminal offense or to avoid or escape arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment or who divulges to any person he or she knows to be a suspect in the commission of any criminal offense, the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect or meaning of that communication concerning the offense with the intent that the suspect may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution of any person under Section 31 or 32.
As used in this section, "public safety radio service communication" means a communication authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to be transmitted by a station in the public safety radio service.

fullrearview
06-05-2011, 8:14 PM
Only thing I can find is this

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PEN/3/1/15/1.5/s636.5

Any person not authorized by the sender, who intercepts any public safety radio service communication, by use of a scanner or any other means, for the purpose of using that communication to assist in the commission of a criminal offense or to avoid or escape arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment or who divulges to any person he or she knows to be a suspect in the commission of any criminal offense, the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect or meaning of that communication concerning the offense with the intent that the suspect may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution of any person under Section 31 or 32.
As used in this section, "public safety radio service communication" means a communication authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to be transmitted by a station in the public safety radio service.

Beat me to it...

IntoForever
06-05-2011, 9:27 PM
And they frown on using one to create havoc with the drive through at fast food dumps.

prc104
06-05-2011, 9:48 PM
SEC. 52.44. WILLFULLY LISTENING TO POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS’ PORTABLE RADIO MESSAGES – PROHIBITED.

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully listen by means of any radio receiving device located in or upon any vehicle to any official message which is being transmitted by the Police Department or Fire Department of the City of Los Angeles or any law enforcement agency over a radio transmitting station owned or operated by such city or agency. The provisions herein shall not apply to any person to whom a permit to listen to such radio messages has been issued in writing by the Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles after he determines that public interest will be served by the issuance of such permit, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to any officer, agent, or servant of any government agency or public utility, the performance of whose duty as such officer, agent or servant, requires that he listen to such messages.

SEC. 52.46. SHORT WAVE RADIOS, USE OF.

No person who intercepts, overhears or receives any message or communication transmitted by any radio transmission station operating upon a wave length or radiofrequency assigned by the Federal Communication Commission for use by any police or law enforcement department shall, for the financial benefit of himself or another communicate such message or communication to another or directly or indirectly use the information so obtained.

Hunt
06-05-2011, 10:20 PM
you don't need to ask the question! Assume everything in CA is prohibited.

E Pluribus Unum
06-05-2011, 10:25 PM
SEC. 52.44. WILLFULLY LISTENING TO POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS’ PORTABLE RADIO MESSAGES – PROHIBITED.

It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully listen by means of any radio receiving device located in or upon any vehicle to any official message which is being transmitted by the Police Department or Fire Department of the City of Los Angeles or any law enforcement agency over a radio transmitting station owned or operated by such city or agency. The provisions herein shall not apply to any person to whom a permit to listen to such radio messages has been issued in writing by the Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles after he determines that public interest will be served by the issuance of such permit, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to any officer, agent, or servant of any government agency or public utility, the performance of whose duty as such officer, agent or servant, requires that he listen to such messages.

SEC. 52.46. SHORT WAVE RADIOS, USE OF.

No person who intercepts, overhears or receives any message or communication transmitted by any radio transmission station operating upon a wave length or radiofrequency assigned by the Federal Communication Commission for use by any police or law enforcement department shall, for the financial benefit of himself or another communicate such message or communication to another or directly or indirectly use the information so obtained.

I'm no attorney, but I would bet dollars to donut holes that this ordinance is preempted by Federal law. Local antenna ordinances were found to be partially preempted, so a "scanner listening" statute would probably be as well.

BigDogatPlay
06-06-2011, 7:59 AM
In some states scanner use, particularly in vehicles, is sharply restricted. In California the only restriction (aside from local ordinances such as noted above which may or may not be questionable on face) has to do with use of a scanner while committing a crime.

glock_this
06-06-2011, 8:02 AM
Currently, I have a Uniden BC785D with external antenna and the digital card - home mounted.. I have been a scanner enthusiast since I was in my teens. I have owned them - home base and portable - as far back as when they used crystals. I love scanners and even have a fantastic scanner app for my Droid. I have heard some truly amazing and hilarious stuff, especially back in the day when we could monitor cordless phones: drug deals, sex talk, foot chases, etc. Fun hobby.