Certain devices – like bombs or grenades – have the potential to cause significant destruction if they are utilized. In order to limit the risk of this type of destruction, the state of California does not allow individuals to possess these devices, even if individuals do not intend to use them.
Individuals who are found with these devices can be charged under California Penal Code Section 18710: Possessing Destructive Devices. Find out more about the results of a PC 18710 conviction with this article. The Simmrin Law Group can also help you consider legal defenses for PC 18710 accusations.
Review the Definition of PC 18710
The court system in California uses PC 18710 to prosecute individuals who have destructive devices. According to this section of the legal code, individuals can face criminal charges if they knowingly possess any destructive device.
You should be aware that fixed ammunition with a caliber greater than .60 caliber is not covered under PC 18710 charges.
Examples of Destructive Devices in California
There are many different objects that can be considered destructive devices in the state of California. Many types of ammo are treated as destructive devices, including:
- Tracer Bullets.
- Incendiary Bullets.
However, tracer bullets designed to be used in shotguns are not covered by PC 18710. Other destructive devices in the state of California can include:
- Bombs, Explosive Missiles, and Grenades.
- Rocket Launchers or Working Cannons.
- Molotov Cocktails and Explosive Devices That Use Dry Ice.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of destructive devices. These examples are designed to help you understand the types of devices that can lead to PC 18710 charges in California.
Results of a Conviction for Possessing Destructive Devices
Individuals in California can face misdemeanor or felony charges for the possession of destructive devices. Prosecutors generally consider the facts of a case and an individual’s prior criminal history when deciding how to handle PC 18710 charges. Let’s go over the penalties for both possible charges:
Misdemeanor PC 187.10 Convictions:
- Fines of Up to $1,000.
- Jail Time of Up to One Year.
Felony PC 187.10 Convictions:
- Fines of Up to $10,000.
- Prison Time of Up to Three Years.
Additionally, it is likely that the court system will confiscate the destructive device following a PC 18710 conviction. Generally, these devices are destroyed so they cannot be used to harm anyone.
Charges Similar to Possessing Destructive Devices
The state of California regulates the ownership and usage of weapons as well as destructive devices. Individuals could face criminal charges for:
- California Penal Code Section 21510: Possession of a Switchblade.
- California Penal Code Section 25850: Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public.
- California Penal Code Section 26350: Carrying an Unloaded Firearm in Public.
Individuals previously convicted of certain felonies can face criminal charges just for possessing a firearm, even if they keep the weapon in their own home.
Options for Legal Defenses for PC 18710 Charges
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build a strong defense if you are accused of possessing a destructive device. You can improve your chances of beating this charge by getting help right away. Your lawyer could be able to help you by arguing that:
You Were Legally Permitted to Have a Destructive Device
The California Department of Justice issues some individuals permits to possess destructive devices. If you have such a permit, you are legally allowed to have a destructive device. Let your lawyer know if you are in possession of a valid permit, so they can take the appropriate steps in your case right away.
You Were Handling Destructive Devices in the Course of Your Official Duties
Law enforcement officers, members of the armed forces, and firefighters may all need to handle destructive devices. If these individuals possess a destructive device as part of their employment, they should not be convicted under PC 18710.
You Didn’t Actually Possess a Destructive Device
We went over some examples of destructive devices earlier, but there is not a hard and fast list of these devices in California. Sometimes, you may be accused of possessing a destructive device when the item is not actually dangerous to others.
Build Your Defense for PC 18710 Charges with a Legal Professional
You can get advice about California Penal Code Section 18710: Possessing Destructive Devices by contacting the Simmrin Law Group right now. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can stand up for you in court. Find out how we can help today with a FREE case evaluation.