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Q: LEGAL JURISDICTION 7 MI IN AIR ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Question  
Subject: LEGAL JURISDICTION 7 MI IN AIR
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: josephs200-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 09 Nov 2006 08:18 PST
Expires: 09 Dec 2006 08:18 PST
Question ID: 781350
WHAT AGENCY HAS JURISDICTION OF COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT WHEN A CRIME (NON
TERRORISTIC OR LIFE THREATENING) ALTERCATION. ASSUMING THE AIRCRAFT IS
37000 FT IN THE AIR,OVER THE UNITED STATES
Answer  
Subject: Re: LEGAL JURISDICTION 7 MI IN AIR
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 09 Nov 2006 09:48 PST
 
Dear josephs200-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. Crimes
other than terrorism related offenses are specifically addressed in
the air piracy acts of the US Code. Why? Because ?air piracy?
continues to include, but is not limited to assault, battery or any
disruption of a flight (either with crew or other passengers)
substantial enough to warrant criminal prosecution. Venue is governed
by 18 U.S.C.  3237, 3238 and Rule 18 of the Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure

TITLE 18 PART II CHAPTER 211 3237. Offenses begun in one district and
completed in another.
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00003237----000-.html

TITLE 18 PART II CHAPTER 211  3238. Offenses not committed in any district.
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00003238----000-.html

Federal law takes precedence and the US Attorney may, at his
discretion, opt to prosecute the matter Federally if he so chooses
even though the offense is technically a misdemeanor. With
misdemeanors however this is typically not the case and these minor
matters are normally tried according to state law. How do we determine
what state?s laws are applicable if the US Attorney chooses to send
the case to a lower court? Well, that?s been tested in court already.
The argument that one must or must not be prosecuted according to the
laws of the state over which the flight was traveling at the precise
moment of the offense have been defeated in courts of law (United
States v. Hall, 691 F.2d 48, 50 (1st Cir. 1982). Instead the US Code
now dictates that if the disruptive conduct, assault, battery or other
misdemeanor offense continues to the point that the plane must make an
unscheduled landing, that the offender(s) may be prosecuted according
to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the plane lands. In addition,
if such a disruptive conduct is only momentary and does not interfere
with the flight, the offender may still be prosecuted according to the
jurisdictional laws at the destination airport if his or her conduct
warrants prosecution.

49 U.S.C. 46506
(1412 Certain Crimes Aboard Aircraft in Flight)
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01412.htm
(1406 Aircraft Piracy, Interference, and Other Title 49 Aircraft Offenses ? Venue)
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01406.htm

The provision for this venue exception is found in the US Code, but
the law under which he will actually be prosecuted in the state where
he gets off the plane. In answer to your question then, if an
interstate passenger has for example become disorderly or criminally
harasses another passenger he might anticipate being arrested and
prosecuted according to the laws of the state where he disembarks ?
and not according to the laws of the state over which the incident
actually took place.

In case you are wondering, on flights over geographical bodies other
than domestic territories, in space, on the moon or upon any celestial
body the issue is also a Federal jurisdictional matter according to
the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction statutes of the US
Code:

18 USC 7
Sec. 7. Special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States defined
?(5) Any aircraft belonging in whole or in part to the United States,
or any citizen thereof, or to any corporation created by or under the
laws of the United States, or any State, Territory, district, or
possession thereof, while such aircraft is in flight over the high
seas, or over any other waters within the admiralty and maritime
jurisdiction of the United States and out of the jurisdiction of any
particular State.
(6) Any vehicle used or designed for flight or navigation in space and
on the registry of the United States pursuant to the Treaty on
Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and
Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies and
the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space,
while that vehicle is in flight, which is from the moment when all
external doors are closed on Earth following embarkation until the
moment when one such door is opened on Earth for disembarkation or in
the case of a forced landing, until the competent authorities take
over the responsibility for the vehicle and for persons and property
aboard.
(7) Any place outside the jurisdiction of any nation with respect to
an offense by or against a national of the United States.?
UNITED STATES CODE
http://law.onecle.com/uscode/18/7.html

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher



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