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Los Angeles Destructive Devices Lawyers

June 22, 2016 Personal Injury

There has been a great deal of media coverage concerning terrorist events in recent years. These frightening experiences are currently informing public policy in many areas. However, the laws in California prohibit the ownership or possession of certain dangerous devices, whether or not a person intends to commit an act of terror with them.

Possessing illegal destructive devices in Los Angeles can lead to a wide array of serious legal punishments. Having a clear understanding of these laws can help you stay out of trouble when it comes to possessing or making destructive devices.

What Is A Destructive Device

Under Section 18710 of the California Penal Code, it is illegal to possess any destructive device other than fixed ammunition that has a caliber greater than .60. This includes a wide range of homemade or professionally produced devices that have the potential to cause serious destruction or harm.

Some of these devices include:

  • A projectile containing explosives or incendiary material
  • A bomb or grenade or a launching device for these items
  • A rocket-propelled device that is greater than 0.60 inches in diameter
  • A breakable container filled with flammable liquid that has a fuse or wick
  • Any sealed device which contains chemical substances that is built to cause an explosion

Whether or not such a device is actually used has no bearing on the legality of the device. Simply building this type of device may be grounds for arrest and prosecution.

Legal Examples

Mark and Rob are hanging out after work one day. Mark says that he saw instructions for a pipe bomb on the Internet and would like to make one. Mark and Rob put gunpowder into a length of PVC pipe and screw caps onto the ends and insert a fuse. They detonate the pipe bomb in an isolated, wooded area.

Both Mark and Rob may be subject to arrest and prosecution. They did not intend to hurt anyone with the device but they created a sealed device that contained explosive materials specifically for the purpose of causing an explosion.

Legal Penalties

Under the law, possessing a destructive device may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor of a felony. A conviction for this offense may be punished with:

  • Confinement in county jail for up to one year
  • Confinement in state prison for up to three years
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Both the fine and term of imprisonment

It should be noted that you do not have to actually be carrying the device in order for it to be in your possession. If it’s in your closet, your garage, your vehicle or if you have a direct right to possess the device, you may be considered in possession of a dangerous device.

Legal Defenses

It’s very important to fight against charges of destructive device possession in court. A conviction under this charge may cause you to be denied employment and can follow you for the rest of your life.

Our legal team can help you create a strong legal defense against these charges. For example, we may argue that:

  • You were not the creator or possessor of the device
  • The device you created was made for instructional purposes, not to explode
  • There is not enough evidence to prove you created or owned the device

Successfully defending against these charges in court can help you maintain your freedom and avoid a fine and jail time.

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