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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XLVI
CRIMES
Chapter 843
OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
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F.S. 843.16
843.16 Unlawful to install or transport radio equipment using assigned frequency of state or law enforcement officers; definitions; exceptions; penalties.
(1) A person, firm, or corporation may not install or transport in any motor vehicle or business establishment, except an emergency vehicle or crime watch vehicle as herein defined or a place established by municipal, county, state, or federal authority for governmental purposes, any frequency modulation radio receiving equipment so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to police or law enforcement officers or fire rescue personnel of any city or county of the state or to the state or any of its agencies. Provided, nothing herein shall be construed to affect any radio station licensed by the Federal Communications System or to affect any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis or any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to part II of chapter 489, operating a central monitoring system.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Emergency vehicle” shall specifically mean:
1. Any motor vehicle used by any law enforcement officer or employee of any city, any county, the state, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Armed Forces of the United States while on official business;
2. Any fire department vehicle of any city or county of the state or any state fire department vehicle;
3. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the state;
4. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the sheriff or fire chief of any county in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said county;
5. Any motor vehicle designated as an emergency vehicle by the chief of police or fire chief of any city in the state when said vehicle is to be assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the said city.
(b) “Crime watch vehicle” means any motor vehicle used by any person participating in a citizen crime watch or neighborhood watch program when such program and use are approved in writing by the appropriate sheriff or chief of police where the vehicle will be used and the vehicle is assigned the use of frequencies assigned to the county or city. Such approval shall be renewed annually.
(3) This section does not apply to the following:
(a) Any holder of a valid amateur radio operator or station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
(b) Any recognized newspaper or news publication engaged in covering the news on a full-time basis.
(c) Any alarm system contractor certified pursuant to part II of chapter 489, operating a central monitoring system.
(d) Any sworn law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10 or emergency service employee as defined in s. 496.404 while using personal transportation to and from work.
(e) An employee of a government agency that holds a valid Federal Communications Commission station license or that has a valid agreement or contract allowing access to another agency’s radio station.
(4) Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.ss. 1-4, ch. 26886, 1951; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1049, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 86-55; s. 1, ch. 90-62; s. 95, ch. 2005-164; s. 1, ch. 2008-70.