Individuals in California are not legally allowed to possess destructive devices. Individuals who possess these devices can face criminal charges under Penal Code 18710. The state formerly used Penal Code 12303 to prosecute the possession of destructive devices. However, PC 12303 charges were phased out in the year 2012 in favor of PC 18710.
PC 18710 is considered a wobbler. This means individuals can face either misdemeanor or felony charges for this crime. Find out more about how to fight the charge of the possession of destructive devices now. Just call us at (310) 997-4688.
Basic Facts About PC 18710 Charges in California
It is against the law to possess a destructive device in California. Individuals can face charges under PC 18710 if they knowingly possess a device they know to be destructive. Note that PC 18710 requires the individual to know ahead of time that they have a dangerous device.
California uses a specific legal definition for “possession.” In fact, there are two primary kinds of possession in our state. Individuals can face charges if they have:
Actual possession of a device occurs if an individual physically has the item. For example, let’s say that an individual has a bomb in their backpack. They would therefore have “actual possession” of a destructive device.
If an individual has constructive possession of a destructive device, this means they are in control of the device but they don’t have custody of it. For example, let’s say an individual purchased grenades and kept them at her house. This individual has constructive possession of the grenades, even when she is not at home.
Types of Destructive Devices in California
There are many different kinds of destructive devices in California. For example, individuals are not legally allowed to possess:
- Explosive missiles
- Rocket-propelling projectiles
Some destructive devices are less obvious. For example, a container holding flammable liquid could be considered a destructive device. Sealed devices holding dry ice are also considered destructive devices in some cases.
This is not a complete list of possible destructive devices in California. These are only examples of devices that the court could deem “destructive.” Call (310) 997-4688 today to reach out to the Simmrin Law Group for help handling these charges.
Results of a Conviction for a PC 18710 Violation
PC 18710 is considered a wobbler in California. Wobblers are prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. The prosecution gets to decide how to handle a wobbler. They can look at the circumstances of a case and an individual’s criminal history when deciding.
Misdemeanors are treated less harshly than felonies in California. Individuals convicted of a felony can face:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
Felonies, on the other hand, can lead to higher penalties. In some cases, felony possession of destructive devices can result in:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Prison time of up to three years
Note that the court will likely confiscate the destructive device(s) as well. In some cases, the court adds additional penalties for individuals who were acting in a malicious or reckless way.
Defenses Against Possession of a Destructive Device Charges
Not all PC 18710 charges lead to a conviction here in California. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can step in to help build a defense for you. We know the defenses that work against the possession of destructive device accusations. Let us argue that:
You Were Permitted to Have the Device
Certain individuals are legally allowed to possess a destructive device in California. The Department of Justice (DOJ) can issue permits to individuals who need certain destructive devices. If you have a permit to possess your device, make sure you inform your lawyer.
You Didn’t Have a Destructive Device
Only some items are considered destructive devices in California. Perhaps you possessed something that resembled a destructive device. We could argue that the item did not meet the legal definition of a destructive device.
Contact a Lawyer About Possession of a Destructive Device Charges
The possession of a destructive device is illegal in California. The court used to use Penal Code 12303 to prosecute this action but now uses Penal Code 18710. The Simmrin Law Group can help you build a defense to these charges. Find out how our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers can help you today. Call us at (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form.
We’ll review all of your legal needs with a free consultation.