Don't aim a laser beam or pointer anywhere near an aircraft.
Even though aiming a laser pointer into the sky might seem harmless - law enforcement officials don't see that pointing a laser beam into the sky to be a "light" or laughing matter.
All across the nation, laser pointing criminal defendants are being charged with violations for doing this.
As a matter of fact, as of February 14, 2012, the president signed into law U.S.C. Title 18, Chapter 2, Sec. 39A. which states, in part:
Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft:
- (a) OFFENSE: whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
The Federal Court for the Western District of Missouri, located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, as well as other Court jurisdictions - including Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court, have, had, or will most likely have, plenty of opportunities to file criminal charges, or an infraction, when a person points a laser beam at an aircraft.
In Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court, if the aircraft happens to be a police helicopter, a defendant will most likely get charged with assaulting a police officer - since Kansas City, Missouri City Ordinances, nor the Missouri State Statutes, have a separate violation for illegally pointing a laser beam at an aircraft.
Also, don't think because you might have a City Ordinance violation in Kansas City, Municipal Court (or any other area Municipal Court) that you can't also be criminally charged, for the same illegal act, at the State or Federal level. It happens. It's only considered double jeopardy if the elements of the two offenses are substantially the same.
For additional information, or if you've been accused of pointing a laser at an aircraft, give me a call. It's serious, and you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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