Indiana Drone Laws (2017)

NOTICE: This article is for information purposes only!  This article is ONLY for state laws that are DRONE specific. Local laws and “aircraft” related laws could potentially apply and were outside of the focus of this article. It might NOT be up to date. You should seek out a competent attorney licensed in the state you are interested in before operating.

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 Current as of February 21, 2017

Indiana Code 14-22-6-16 Use of unmanned aerial vehicles to aid hunting

Sec. 16.

(a) This section does not apply to the following:

(1) The department or the department’s designee.

(2) Employees or agents of a governmental entity while performing official duties.

(3) Employees or agents of an educational or research

institution acting for bona fide educational or scientific purposes.

(4) Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to assist, provide care

for, or provide veterinary treatment to a specific wild animal.

(5) Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor areas of

agricultural production or to monitor nuisance wild animals.

(b) As used in this section, “take” means to:

(1) kill, shoot, spear, harm, catch for the purpose of killing, trap

for the purpose of killing, or pursue for the purpose of killing a wild animal; or

(2) attempt to engage in conduct under subdivision (1).

(c) During the period:

(1) beginning fourteen (14) days before the hunting season for

a particular wild animal species; and

(2) ending upon the expiration of legal hunting hours on the last day of the hunting season; a person may not knowingly use an unmanned aerial vehicle (as defined by IC 35-33-5-0.5(7)) to search for, scout, locate, or detect a wild animal to which the hunting season applies as an aid to take the wild animal.

Indiana Code 35-31.5-2-342.3  

“Unmanned aerial vehicle” Sec. 342.3. “Unmanned aerial vehicle”, for purposes of IC 35-33-5, has the meaning set forth in IC 35-33-5-0.5(7)

Indiana Code 35-31.5-2-343.7

“Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle” Sec. 343.7. “Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle”, for purposes of IC 35-33-5, has the meaning set forth in IC 35-33-5-0.5(8).

IC 35-31.5-2-337.5

“Tracking device ”

Sec. 337.5. “Tracking device”, for purposes of IC 35-33-5 and this chapter, means an electronic or mechanical device that allows a person to remotely determine or track the position or movement of another person or an object. The term includes the following:

(1) A device that stores geographic data for subsequent access

or analysis.

(2) A device that allows real-time monitoring or movement.

(3) An unmanned aerial vehicle.

(4) A cellular telephone or other wireless or cellular communications device.

Indiana Code 35-33-5-0.5 Definitions

Sec. 0.5. The following definitions apply throughout this chapter:

(1) “Electronic communication service” means a service that

provides users with the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications.

(2) “Electronic storage” means any storage of electronic user

data on a computer, computer network, or computer system regardless of whether the data is subject to recall, further manipulation, deletion, or transmission. “Electronic storage” includes any storage or electronic communication by an electronic communication service or a remote computing service.

(3) “Electronic user data” means any data or records that are in

the possession, care, custody, or control of a provider of an electronic communication service, a remote computing service, or any other service or program that stores, uses, collects, or safeguards electronic user data.

(4) “Governmental entity” has the meaning set forth in

IC 35-31.5-2-144. For purposes of this chapter, “governmental entity” also includes a person authorized to act on behalf of a state or local agency.

(5) “Intercept” means to acquire geolocation data through the

use of an electronic device, mechanical device, or other device.

(6) “Remote computing service” means the provision to the

public of computer storage or processing services by means of an electronic communication service.

(7) “Unmanned aerial vehicle” means an aircraft that:

(A) does not carry a human operator; and

(B) is capable of flight under remote control or autonomous programming.

(8) “Use of an unmanned aerial vehicle” means the use of an

unmanned aerial vehicle by a law enforcement officer to obtain evidence relevant to the enforcement of statutes, rules, or regulations. The term includes:(A) the interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications; and(B) the capture, collection, monitoring, or viewing of images.

(9) “User” means any person who:

(A) uses an electronic communication service, remote computing service, geolocation information service, or an electronic device; and

(B) may or may not be the person or entity having legal title, claim, or right to the electronic device or electronic user data.

Indiana Code 35-33-5-9 Unmanned aerial vehicles; search warrant; exceptions

Sec. 9.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a law enforcement officer must obtain a search warrant in order to use an unmanned aerial vehicle.

(b) A law enforcement officer or governmental entity may use an unmanned aerial vehicle without obtaining a search warrant if the law enforcement officer determines that the use of the unmanned aerial vehicle:

(1) is required due to:

(A) the existence of exigent circumstances necessitating a

warrantless search;

(B) the substantial likelihood of a terrorist attack;

(C) the need to conduct a search and rescue or recovery operation;

(D) the need to conduct efforts:

(i) in response to; or

(ii) to mitigate; the results of a natural disaster or any other disaster; or

(E) the need to perform a geographical, an environmental, or any other survey for a purpose that is not a criminal justice purpose;

(2) is required to obtain aerial photographs or video images of

a motor vehicle accident site on a public street or public highway; or

(3) will be conducted with the consent of any affected property-owner.

Indiana Code 35-33-5-10

Admissibility of evidence; unmanned aerial vehicles

Sec. 10. The following are not admissible as evidence in an administrative or judicial proceeding:

(1) A communication or an image that is obtained through the

use of an unmanned aerial vehicle in violation of section 9 of this chapter.

(2) Evidence derived from a communication or an image

described in subdivision (1).

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Jonathan Rupprecht

Mr. Rupprecht is an aviation attorney who focuses on drones. Read more about his background as a commercial pilot, flight instructor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University grad, and legal author. He has had media appearances on Forbes, Newsweek, Politico, NPR, Marketwatch, The Independent, Motherboard, and other sources. Feel free to send Jonathan a message here.