This is pretty sad. From this discussion
of the scanner laws in NYS:
People v. Verdino, 1974 78 Misc.2d 719, 357 N.Y.S.2d 769.
This critical case established that the statue applies to any radio that is capable of receiving police signals whether or not the radio was actually being operated. In this case Verdino was caught with a scanner that operated from the cigarette lighter but was not plugged in at the time he was stopped. The court ruled that the radio was still "capable" of receiving signals thus making it illegal.
Wow! Just wow! Here and I thought I was being **** because I put the opened yet re-corked bottle of wine from yesterday's easter dinner in a bag in the bed just to be sure I'd avoid any open container issues..