Home owner taking pictures of a flying drone

How to legally take down a drone

Don’t try to eliminate drones through a worthless, irresponsible demonstration. Although the technology has advanced at breakneck speed, state rules have yet to keep pace. You don’t shoot every vehicle that drives past your home.

Drones are likely to behave the same until they begin recording and clicking your actions. As a result, having a constructive conversation with the drone’s owner may be a good approach to legally take down a drone and express your hatred for drones.

Many individuals take their privacy extremely seriously. A buzzing drone overhead stirs up fury and anxiety in most people. Drones aren’t all created to be spying devices, but it’s a no-brainer that they might be a problem for your comfort and safety. We all know this.

For that reason, when you see a drone in your backyard or hovering above your property, there is typically just one thing that runs through people’s minds: “I want to destroy it.”

“The precise physical location is important as it provides evidence that the drone was flying over your property, which is trespassing. This information will be invaluable in any legal proceedings or documentation you might pursue.”

According to Attorney David Black

However, don’t take an act of vengeance too far by destroying the drone with weapons like firearms, knives and rocks.

There are a few steps to follow and things to know. This is how to take down a drone legally:

1. If you see a drone in your backyard, call the Police immediately

Since drones are not permitted to be over private property without permission, calling the police on any individual flying a drone outdoors is a logical step to take if you feel threatened or have your privacy violated. Whether the police will investigate and find out who’s at fault is another story, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

2. Know Your State Drone Laws

Did you know that federal law prohibits drones from being within 35 miles of an airport without proper approval? This is why if you are near an airport, chances are there will be no unauthorized drones flying around this area. However, 35 miles is a huge distance and you can imagine how many people violate this federal law daily.

3. Know Your State Drone Trespassing Laws

Most states have adopted the guidelines of the Model Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act, which prohibits drones from flying over private property without permission. If your state hasn’t enacted specific drone laws, it ‘s likely that your state’s existing laws are applicable.

4. Capture the Drone’s Serial Number

The serial number of a drone can be found on the underside or inside—it will generally have an engraved number preceded with “N” or something similar. Take multiple photos, screenshots and videos of this serial number to prove that the drone belongs to a person and not an unknown entity.

5. Capture Photos of the Drone’s Operator

A photograph of the operator’s face is good evidence that can be used in court, but at very least snap a photo of his or her license plate. The license plate number will explain who was flying and owning the drone.

6. Determine the Drone’s Physical Location

The exact physical location of where you are when you spot a drone is important because it helps provide evidence that the drone was flying above your property or close to your home. This will be especially helpful if you must file an official record with the police, sue someone or present this information to a lawyer. This information will show stronger evidence that the drone was flying above your area.

7. Stalk Your Drone’s Every Move on Social Media

If you are seeing a persistent drone over your property or neighborhood, be creative and stalky by searching for their Twitter handle, Facebook account or other social media profiles associated with flying drones. If possible, contact the owner’s friends and family to learn more about who was flying this drone. You might even be able to scare them or shame them into stopping what they are doing.

8. Capture Videos of the Drone Flying Over Your Residential Property

If you have a security camera hooked up at your home, as many people do these days, you can capture a video of the drone flying over your home. While this evidence might not be as strong as having a physical photograph of the drone’s operator, it will give you proof that the drone was above your property.

9. Search for Drone Takedown Videos Online

Thank goodness there are websites streaming examples of successful drone takedowns. For example, a Youtube video showed a drone trespassing in someone’s backyard before the owner runs over to the property line, grabs the drone and smashes it with his shoe.

10. Hire a drone Lawyer to Sue for Compensation

After all your hard work, it might be time to call in an expert. Hiring a drone lawyer will help you determine what kind of compensation you are eligible for because drones can interfere with daily activities and general privacy. If you constantly see drones over your property, it might be time to call in an expert.

11. Be Kind to Drone Trespassers

Unfortunately, you cannot do much to prevent people from flying their drones near your property without obtaining permission or even telling them that they are trespassing.

For security and privacy reasons, it is best to try and be kind because these people are probably unaware of the laws. However, if they continue to trespass, you might need to take more drastic measures such as calling the police or hiring an attorney.

Flying drone over houses


If you’ve followed our advice and are still having issues with a drone flying over your residential property, be sure to contact a drone lawyer.

The first thing you should do is take photos of the drone’s serial number and any identifying marks such as stickers or engravings on the body of the aircraft.

If possible, try and capture photos or screenshots that display other information about your situation, such as GPS coordinates, the operator’s face and/or his or her license plate number.

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