The Fourth of July is coming up and everyone associates the holiday with fireworks. This year, illegal fireworks have started earlier than usual, and across the country, there are more complaints about fireworks than normal. In fact, according to The Eastsider, firework complaints filed during the first few weeks of June in the LAPS's Northeast division are up 322% from last year.
Recently in Irwindale, police got a tip about illegal fireworks--they arrived at a home and discovered “over 70 illegally possessed fireworks amounting to almost 2,000 pounds.” Police seized these illegal fireworks, and charged the residents. Though it is not certain why there has been an increase in fireworks, officers believe it may have to do with the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that “people [are] tired of staying home” and because they have less to do, are “entertaining themselves with more of these fireworks.”
Because the increase in fireworks has been so drastic in some areas, officers have taken to patrolling the streets in search of those setting off illegal fireworks. Fireworks of any kind are illegal within the City of Los Angeles, and possession of illegal fireworks anywhere in California can get you in trouble with the law. Additionally, legal fireworks are only supposed to be sold between June 28th and July 6th.
Illegal Fireworks Consequences
Under California Health and Safety Code 12677, it is against the law for “any person to possess dangerous fireworks without holding a valid permit.” These “dangerous” fireworks are illegal in California--legal fireworks will have a seal stating they have been registered by the state fire marshal, without that seal, the firework is illegal.
Possessing illegal fireworks is a misdemeanor charge. This means you could face consequences of:
- up to 1 year in jail, and
- a fine of up to $1,000
- Confiscation of your fireworks - police will always take your fireworks, you will not be allowed to keep them.
If you have a large quantity of fireworks, or you have previously been caught with illegal fireworks, your sentence can be more serious. Also, if you start a fire because you were setting off fireworks, you could face arson charges, which can mean very severe consequences.
Talk to a Skilled Defense Attorney
If you are facing a charge for possessing or shooting off fireworks, you should contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney right away. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have a lasting negative impact on your life--let's face it, you don't want to have a criminal record follow you.
At the Kann California Law Group, we can talk about your charges during a free case consultation. When it comes to this type of charge, there are defenses available, such as showing you were outside Los Angeles city limits when you set off fireworks and showing the fireworks were actually legal fireworks. You certainly don't want your Fourth to be ruined with a criminal sentence, so contact us today at 888-744-7730 to see how we can help!