When you’re trying to take a look at penal code, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by just how complicated some of the language can be. And if you look at it, there’s a reason for it being this complicated–it simply wasn’t written with the average person in mind. Instead, these laws were written to be studied by lawyers who have years of experience at not just implementing the laws but also analyzing them and figuring out how to use them to their clients’ interests. With that being said, there’s a definite way to break this law down in order to make it much more understandable to the average person. In this post we’re going to do that with the crime of possession of destructive devices, and we’re going to first break down some of the definitions, then the punishments, and finally the defenses for this particular charge.
When it comes to destructive devices, this blanket category covers things like bombs, grenades, explosive missiles, projectiles, and even rockets that you might find in a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. This is actually a particularly harsh law, as it doesn’t require you to actually explode or intend to explode the device, it only requires that you possess it. The thing is, in order to be charged with this crime you have to have known that you possessed the device, as well as the fact that this device was destructive, which tends to be an across the board feature of many of the possession charges that you’ll find on the books. The good news with this particular charge is that it’s considered to be a wobbler. What this basically means is that the crime can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime, as well as other similar factors. If you’re charged with the misdemeanor version of the crime, you’ll be potentially looking at up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to a thousand dollars. The felony version of this charge, however, involves sixteen months, two or three years in state prison, and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. So while it would obviously be preferable to be charged with the misdemeanor version instead of the felony, there are certain defenses that you can take advantage of for both. Let’s take a look at these.
There are a few legal defenses that you can use in order to fight the charges that have been brought up against you. One common defense is to claim that you in fact had a valid permit to possess the device, that the device isn’t considered to be a destructive device under the law, that you happen to be exempt from prosecution under this law, that you were falsely accused, or that the evidence used against you was gotten as a result of an illegal search. By using any one of these defenses, you can be well on your way to fighting your charges.
As you can see, once you take the letter of the law and break it down into easier to manage chunks, it makes the whole process of figuring out the meaning of the law that much easier. And of course, if you’re facing legal trouble and can use one of the defenses that we’ve previously talked about in this post, you’ll definitely want the right counsel for the job. Get in contact with us as soon as possible and we’ll work toward getting you the help you need.