Drones Prove to Be Both the Problem and Solution for Crime

By Jose Ceja
Managing Attorney

The concept of drones is quite remarkable. Drones, which are remotely-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles, have been widely available for public use for about five years. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, approximately 1.5 million drones – both commercial and recreational – have been registered in the U.S., though it does not account for those that remain unregistered or homemade. 

Drones Used to Commit Criminal Acts

While quite useful, sometimes drones are used to commit criminal acts. Unfortunately, there has not been much regulation implemented at the state level, often tying the hands of law enforcement. Since drones are more difficult to catch, they are often pretty appealing for criminals. 

Drones have already been used in an array of crimes, from attacking F.B.I. agents to dropping homemade bombs, to smuggling illegal drugs. To make matters worse, local and state authorities may not intercept them already in flight – even during the commission of a crime – since federal law restricts it. Considering that in 2015 the Border Patrol caught drones attempting to smuggle 28 pounds of heroin into the U.S., this is quite concerning. 

Though drones can often offer a deep knowledge of crimes if they are obtained, they are difficult to obtain. Additionally, the specialty of “drone forensics” has only just begun to grow. Regardless, those that are homemade may be programmed so that they are not identifiable, no matter the skill of the forensics team. 

Drones Used to Fight Crime and Protect the Public

But drones aren’t only used by criminals to commit crimes. They are now commonly used by law enforcement to catch criminals. Since they are considerably cheaper than helicopters, they are used in their place to alert the public or locate criminal suspects. With loudspeakers, law enforcement can now directly target and speak to sections of the public to warn them of danger in their area. Other drones are capable of using thermal imaging, which has been used to locate dangerous, wild animals. 

Additionally, because drones have a great aerial perspective and can maneuver to crime scenes, often separated by closed roads and backed up traffic, they are now being used at crime scenes and post-accident to take pictures and measurements later to be used for evidence. 

Ceja Law Firm PLLC Helps Those Who Have Been Charged with a Crime in Texas

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Texas, it can have serious implications for the rest of your life. That’s why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. At Ceja Law Firm PLLC we understand the gravity of being charged – and convicted of a crime! We fight for the rights of our clients and strive to reduce – or even eliminate your charges. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Jose Ceja is the managing attorney of Ceja Law Firm. He has practiced law since 2007 and has devoted his career to the practice of criminal law. Mr. Ceja began his legal career as a felony drug prosecutor, where he prosecuted drug, gang, and violent offenses. Mr. Ceja has first or second chaired almost 100 trials, including murders, drug cases, DWIs, and assaults. In his career as a defense attorney, he has regularly obtained dismissals, not guilty verdicts, and grand jury “no bills” in a wide variety of cases.