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** catched by police yesterday night **

ixfd64

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You said you'll probably never take this laser outside again... I hope that's not the case for long. You shouldn't be scorned after this incident & be afraid to lase outside anymore - but I certainly understand your hesitation with doing so. I think (as you said) you should just bring the paperwork with you if you do go out again in case another cop questions you.
After my encounter with that "FBI agent" last year, my father was like, "Don't you ever take that thing out in public again!!"

I still do, although I'm a lot more careful now.
 

Laserburns

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This is a very strange story really.

Since the laser was returned to you, i assume owning the device in your country is legal. But i wonder what the exact crime was that resulted in a 150 euro fine. I'm not sure about the legal system over there, but here (.nl) every fine has a reference to the acticle number in the book of law that was violated.

It might be worthwhile to investigate this: It could be a very generic violation (distrubing the public peace), or something like 'endangering others', but perhaps there is a more specific reference that has something to do with lasers.

Personally i would not have accepted the fine and have it taken to court. If you still have time to appeal to this fine i'd consider doing so. In most european countries the demand by the DA will not be much higher than the initial fine, and at least you get a proper judge to look at what crime you have comitted, if any.
Yeah sure that was a very generic violation, something like "using high power emission device in public without authorization", infact just because lasers above 5mw need papers to be used in public and for professional application, bacuse there is not law expressly forbids "possession".

Of course i could have take to the court, but spending 1500 or more in lawyers for 2 or 4 comparison, in 2 or 4 years, would go much over the cost in time and effort than a stupid fine.

..expecially if you are not 100% sure of win, and i think laws and about lasers are getting updated every day that a single moron doing something newly stupid.
 

Benm

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That actually sounds like a very specific violation to me. Afaik there is no law in holland that explicitly forbids it, so they would have to resort to very generic violations like public nuisance or reckless endangerment. Perhaps there is a specific law in italy that does forbid it, although i'd be surprised if it still existed with the harmonization of the european legal systems.

One difference could be what you can do about it: Here you can defend yourself in lower courts that handle minor violations like these (also traffic tickets and such), and people often do. There are no legal costs involved in taking a criminal case to court instead of paying the settlement if you plead your own defense, and the risk of losing is usually only getting a slightly higher fine than the settlement.
 

borgqueenx

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That actually sounds like a very specific violation to me. Afaik there is no law in holland that explicitly forbids it, so they would have to resort to very generic violations like public nuisance or reckless endangerment. Perhaps there is a specific law in italy that does forbid it, although i'd be surprised if it still existed with the harmonization of the european legal systems.

One difference could be what you can do about it: Here you can defend yourself in lower courts that handle minor violations like these (also traffic tickets and such), and people often do. There are no legal costs involved in taking a criminal case to court instead of paying the settlement if you plead your own defense, and the risk of losing is usually only getting a slightly higher fine than the settlement.
Is that so? I didnt even know that:eek: now i really dont have to fear the cops anymore:) thanks! But how can you start such a lower court for fines and confisications in nl?

Thanks:)
 

HIMNL9

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Well, here they solved the problem of too much "lower court" cases, at least for basical traffic tickets ..... the minimum fee is usually 98 Euro, and before, you can ask for arbitrate from a "popular judge" for free ..... now, they changed the rule, so for ask for arbitrate, you have to pay 98 Euro, regardless if you're right or not ..... so, now if you decide to pay or to recurr, you still need to pay the 98 Euro ..... typical talian solution :p :D.
 

Benm

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The dutch situation works like this:

For some offences, there is a special procedure called the Mulder law, which applies mostly to traffic fines such as speeding tickets, running red lights etcetera. When you receive the invoice for the fine, there is a big letter M marked on it. There is the possibility of appeal, but you must first lodge a complaint with the DA, and if he refuses you must pay the fine, and file an appeal at a lower court.

In this case i suspect a fine would be of a different type, marked T on the invoice. The T stands for transaction, and is essentially a settlement. If you pay the amount, the case is considered closed. If you do not pay, you will be assigned a court date and given the opportunity to plead your case to the judge. Appearing in court is not mandatory, but you will most likely lose the case if you don't bring any arguments to the table.

Note that in both cases you are entitled to a full trial in court, but in the cases marked with M, you need to protest and initiate the process, while in case of the T-marked cases you will automatically be summoned to appear in court when you do not pay.

These procedings are likely rather specific for the dutch situation, and the details will vary within other EU countries. Regardless of the nature of the offense or the amount of the fine, you are always entitled to plead your case in court however. This is covered int he European Convention of Human rights, and can under no circumstance be bypassed by any EU member state's internal legal system.


As for court costs: In case of a criminal offense (misdemeanor or felony alike), the suspect does not have to pay any legal costs to the court, regardless of the outcome. Defending yourself against criminal charge is a basic right that cannot be subject to levies. In case of a civil dispute there are some basic court costs, in the dutch lower courts these are in the order of 125 euro's, but only apply to civil conflicts and are usually payable by the losing party.
 
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borgqueenx

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Thanks for the info very useful!
And what about consifications..can i say no to a cop if he wants to take my laser? And then automaticly be directed to the court to appear?
Or has the cop the right to take whatever they think is illigal or dangerous?
 

HIMNL9

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@ Benm: Then you're in a lucky country, about laws .....

Let me say you briefly how tribunals works here ..... regardless the fact that you are guilty or not, there's NO WAY for know how you end, when you enter in a court.

ALL the laws are left, basically, at the "interpretation" of the judge of the moment, based on personal ideas, impressions and line of thinking ..... when you go in tribunal, also for a minor cause, you need to pay (and now, also for popular judges, that before was free) ..... plus, also in the case that all the 3 degrees of judice gives you reason, there is not a warranty that you get back your money at all (cause the consuetude that "expenses follows succumbance" is just a consuetude, not a law nor a precedent ..... if the judge hates you :p , or more frequently if you recurr against a public administration :( , he can always apply "compensated fees" formula, at his own discretion, that means that anyone pay his own part of the expenses, regardless the fact that you're right or wrong).

One of the cases i studied had 3 degrees of judice, and in the first, the judge declared the subject guilty, in the second the other judge totally assolved him, and in third degree, another judge declared it guilty of a different imputation, all with the same documents, evidences and testimones.

I also followed a case where the judge declared guilty in the first degree the subject, cause "there was no way for demonstrate that the object was not a property of the subject", so his innocence cannot be proofed, TOTALLY REVERTING the law and constitutional principle that constrain the accusator to proof the guilty (here the law AND the constitution clearly state that a person is innocent until the guilty is clearly proofed, not the opposite ..... at least in theory :p), and NONE can do anything against that judge, about this ridiculous and illegal declaration in the sentence, only recurr asking for a second degree judice with a different judge (and also in the case that the imputate go assolved, cause basically there are NO PROOFS of a reate, that judge don't get also a slap on his head, for a sentence that is basically and constitutionally ILLEGAL, cause there's no law that say that a judge must pay for his errors).

Welcome in the land of (their) freedom :p :(
 
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Laserburns

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Once again, just talked a little while to my cousin, asking more advice, and that's what he said:

Basically, the 1mw greeny or red, are totally legal, even if they, actually are banned for sale after incident in highways and stadium.

Everything till 5mw, can be hold.. and used in public, still not sold.

What that means? You can have them, you can use them. But they cannot be sold. (Except for "professional" use, that means, measuring levels, and laser pointers for education.)

Lasers from 5mw till 100mw, still can be sold, into properly filtered and automatized devices..e.g: disco scanners for shows.

Anything above 5MW, cannot be used in public...

..so, how did i manage to get my laser back? I asked!

Basically, to prove the effective emission of the device, need to be used a special lasermeters that authority are authorized to use, by thirdy party consultant for police, and this is going to happen, if there is a official offence report, about that specific case.

What that means? You own a device that "may be" illegal, it look illegal, and it bright like an illegal one, but it is not definitively illegal, till a machina can effectively prove it, with a specific measurement that need to be signed and requested by a police official, and this is going to happen, when an offence report has been issued. (example, you point you laser to someone eyes, he get offended and sue you or just issue a report to police, or they arrest you because they suspect you doing something bad), so there is a procedure of arrest, and there, the investigation (that always has cost, and time effort) will set the order, to analyze the exact emission of that device.

Till that, no one can surely tell "this device can hurt someone, or is illegal"... so, it just LOOKS illegal, so they have the right to confiscate it, till something "happens" (so, the laser is measured and declared illegal, then, set for destruction). But to something "happen", also means that something "happened" already with that device, different than pointing it to ballons or stars.

So, they can confiscate it, for security, but you can claim it back, if they cant prove that has an illegal emission, and they cant test emission, if no one was sued, arrested and there is no report.

They cant request lasermeter emission report, just because a laser exist or because someone was pointing it to stars or sand. or they should have one office testing devices every second.

Is one of the many escapes of law.

Thats why a label on the device or a spec paper, may be a lot useful.
 
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Benm

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And what about consifications..can i say no to a cop if he wants to take my laser? And then automaticly be directed to the court to appear?
Or has the cop the right to take whatever they think is illigal or dangerous?
The police can confiscate the laser if they have reasonable suspicion it is dangerous or illegal. If they order you to hand it over, you are obliged to do so, and the police in turn are obliged to provide you with a written proof of what was confiscated. Usually this document also contains the steps required to request the item back.

Up to this point it is all in the hands of the police, and no judge needs to be involved. If they however decide not to return your laser, a decision by a jugde is required to determine what to do with it: Return it because your arguments are convincing or it doesnt proof to be illegal, or destruction if it does proof to be illegal to own. Another option would be to hold is as evidence, but that is only possible if the laser was used in some kind of crime (e.g. endangering people or property).

Refusing to hand it over when ordered to is not wise - that is a seperate crime for which you could be arrested and punished, even if the object in question later proofs to be perfectly legal to own and use.
 

ixfd64

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I'm not too familiar with European laws, but in the United States, police can only confiscate something if 1) they have a warrant,
2) they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you are doing something illegal, or 3) if they actually see something illegal ("in plain sight").

For (1), the police cannot just pull a warrant out of the air; it must be signed by a judge. However, (2) and (3) more worrying because your actions are open to interpretation. An officer can easily state that you are endangering the public, etc. People often assume that something that is unusual (such as a high-powered laser) must be illegal. The police are no exception.

So, should you hand over your laser if an officer asks for it? Personally, I would politely say that I would rather hold on to it. However, if the officer insists that I hand it over, then I will do so. After all, I would not want to mess with someone who has arrest powers and a gun. I do know that some people have gotten away with refusing to hand over their cameras to police, but a laser is a bit different because it is more likely to be seen as something "illegal."

If the police do take your laser, offer to hand it over at the police station if possible. This makes it much harder for an officer to pocket it. Also, be sure to take out the safety key if it has one. Otherwise, you could open a can of worms if a cop accidentally blinds another cop, etc.
 

Laserburns

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If the police do take your laser, offer to hand it over at the police station if possible. This makes it much harder for an officer to pocket it. Also, be sure to take out the safety key if it has one. Otherwise, you could open a can of worms if a cop accidentally blinds another cop, etc.
thought so, but many recent and very powerful laser, such dragon spartan series and olike waterproof series, do not have a key.

so, maybe you could fastly remove batteries from them, as long as they generally do not use standard AA or AAA batteries, but 123 or 18650, that may require a bit more effort to get, and as long as there are no specifications on them, they may try to put AA or AAA into a laser, without success.

also, anyone that does not know specifications, tend to put batteries with standard polarity,
with the positive on the top, (and let the driver to fail).
 
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qumefox

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Nano.. Can you pretty please limit the image height of the images in your sig to 150 pixels or less? I think you have one of the most annoying sigs on the forum. heh. Simply due to the relatively large image. No all of us rock 1050+ pixel height monitors after all.
 
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Eudaimonium

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I agree with Qumefox too.

Nanolaser, for Christ sakes, do something with your damned signature. You're having extremely large image not related to anything, and a sentence in which one word makes apsolutely no sense with any other word.

At least move the damned picture.

P.S. Picture in my siggy is not too large, is it?
 




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