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Are Police Scanners Legal?

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Explains The Right to Own Police ScannersWith all the technological advances around today, there are many things that are now available at the touch of a button. For those familiar with smartphones, there is virtually an app for anything. All it takes is a simple search and download and you could be doing something from your phone you might have once thought required much more.

For example, there are now apps for smartphones that turn those phones into police scanners. That’s right — you could listen to police movements and activities with the right app. This type of technology raises an important question: are police scanners legal?

This question does not just apply to those scanners that are downloadable by a smartphone but all police scanners on the market today.

The good news is that in the state of New Jersey, it is legal to own a police scanning device with two stipulations. The first stipulation is that they are illegal to use in the commission of a crime or to obstruct the discharge of police, firefighters, etc. and the second is that it is illegal to possess a police scanner while in the course of committing a crime.

The former is self-explanatory. A person cannot use a police scanner to intercept communications in order to help commit a crime. It is also illegal to intercept communications via police scanner in an effort to keep police, firefighters or emergency medical services from reaching their dispatched destination.

The second part of New Jersey law and police scanners translates to it being illegal for you to be in possession of any form of a police scanner — on your phone or an actual device. This means that you could be in trouble with the law for something that has nothing to do with using a police scanner but if it is discovered that you possess a voice scanner then you could be charged for that, regardless of the original crime committed.

If you or someone you know have suffered due to New Jersey police scanner laws, it is imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help with litigation. The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC are here to help. Contact their office today at 877-423-4878 today to begin discussing your legal options.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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