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Los Angeles Possession of Destructive Device Materials

A destructive and explosive device has the possibility of causing tremendous damage to both life and property. Therefore, it is illegal to possess a destructive and explosive device and, if found with this device, you may face a felony offense and severe penalties.

A prosecutor must prove the following to find an individual guilty of possessing the materials needed to create a destructive and explosive device:
• The individual must possess a substance or material or both
• The individual intended to make an destructive or explosive device when possessing these items
• The individual did not possess a valid permit to make the destructive and explosive device

The definition of an explosive is any substance, or combination of substances, whose primary purpose is to combust or detonate and that is able to release gas and heat instantaneously. It can also be any substance whose primary purpose is to be mixed with another substance that then creates something that could combust or detonate.

There is not a specific list of the materials that can be considered destructive and that could violate California Penal Code Section 18720 PC but here are some substances that can fall under that category:
• Chemicals, when mixed with other substances that can cause an explosion
• Fertilizer
• Gunpowder
• Blasting caps

Similar and related offenses can include:
• Possession of a destructive device
• Dangerous weapon possession or manufacturing and selling

For example,
During the execution of a legal search warrant, the police find bags of ammonium nitrate, some gasoline containers, insulated wires, large diameter piping used for making pipe bombs, blasting caps and blasting cap crimpers and containers of chemicals in an individual’s garage. The police also find pamphlets from a known dangerous protest group. The individual can be charged with possessing materials to create destructive devices based on these items and the individual can face a prison sentence.

In a second example, an individual in a rural area of the country is found to have a huge amount of fertilizer in a shed. The individual intended on using the fertilizer on his property during his spring planting. This individual will not be found guilty of possessing destructive devices because, even though the fertilizer can possibly be used to make a bomb, it is actually being used for a legitimate purpose on his farm to grow his crops.

Possessing Destructive Device Materials Defense

If there was no intent to make a destructive or explosive device, then the individual is not criminally liable.

Also, if there was an improper search and seizure done by police, the destructive and explosive device materials cannot be used in court.

Offense Penalties
The penalty for the possession of destructive or explosive device materials is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

If you have been charged with possessing destructive or explosive device materials, contact one of our experienced attorneys immediately to help you through the court process. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review the charges and help you receive the best possible outcome for your case.

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