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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hollywood, California

    Default Possession of a Police Scanner

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California, L.A. county

    so, in California, is it illegal to be in possesion of a police scanner in your vehicle while driving? also, is it illegal to be in posession of a handheld, portable police radio? for the time being, let's assume the individual's record is clean of misdemeanors, felonies, and traffic violations.

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Possession of a Police Scanner

    California state law provides:

    California Penal Code Section 636.5 Wrongful
    Interception and Divulgence of Police Radio Communication.

    Any person not authorized by the sender, who intercepts
    any police radio service communications, by use of a
    scanner or 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 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 "police radio service
    communications" means a communications authorized by the
    Federal Communications Commission to be transmitted by a
    station in the police radio service. Leg.H. 1976 ch. 1129,
    1991 ch. 515.

    LA County ordinances are more restrictive:

    13.10.020 Installing or using shortwave radios in vehicles prohibited without permit.

    Except as provided in Section 13.20.050 of this chapter, every person who, without obtaining a permit from the sheriff or from the forester and fire warden authorizing him to do so, equips any vehicle with, or operates any vehicle equipped with, a shortwave radio receiver, is guilty of an infraction. (Ord. 83-0066 90, 1983: Ord. 5462 2, 1950: Ord. 4322 2, 1944.)

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