Fireworks Offenses

Restrictions surrounding fireworks in Los Angeles

While fireworks are widely enjoyed by the general public on holidays like the Fourth of July and at other times, these items are capable of causing significant harm and damage if not properly handled and is usually illegal to possess or sell these items for those who are not authorized. The restrictions surrounding fireworks in Los Angeles can be complicated and one can easily find themselves charged with illegal fireworks.

In California, the law makes the distinction between “dangerous fireworks” that are always illegal to sell or possess without a special display license and “safe and sane” fireworks which can only be lawfully purchased from a licensed retailer from noon on June 28 to noon on July 6. In many cases, local ordinances may prohibit the use, possession or sale of any type of firework.

California Health and Safety Code Section 12505 HSC lists what qualifies as dangerous fireworks. These fireworks are always considered illegal unless the individual has a special display license that is usually only issued to trained pyrotechnic operators who are engaged in officially sanctioned firework displays. Dangerous fireworks include those that contain arsenic sulfide, arsenites, chlorates, magnesiam, phosphorous, zirconium and other dangerous or combustible chemicals. It also includes firecrackers, skyrockets, and sparklers that are over ten inches long or thicker than ¼ inch in diameter. There are certain exemptions provided for those who use these products in connection with industrial, commercial or agricultural uses or religious ceremonies and who have proper permits.

Any fireworks that would not be classified as “dangerous” would be considered “safe and sane.” However, under California Health and Safety Code Section 12599 HSC, safe and sane fireworks can only be sold at a fixed business by a licensed seller between noon on June 28 and noon on July 6 every year. The only exceptions are party poppers and snap caps which can be sold throughout the year and do not need to be purchased from a licensed retailer.

There are a number of ways that a person can violate fireworks laws, including advertising fireworks without being licensed to sell them, illegally storing fireworks and even using a flare gun in an improper manner. However, the most common fireworks offenses involve the illegal use, possession and sale of fireworks.

It is always illegal to possess dangerous fireworks. Possessing safe and sane fireworks is usually acceptable, however it is important to remember that a person who injures another person or creates a fire hazard as a result of improper firework use can be charged with other criminal offenses such as battery in violation of California Penal Code Section 242 PC or arson under California Penal Code Section 452 PC.

It is also illegal to sell fireworks without the proper license to do so. In addition, furnishing dangerous fireworks to a minor is also a criminal offense under California Health and Safety Code Section 12702 HSC that can result in the defendant being charged with a felony offense.

There are a number of defenses that may apply to those who have been charged with fireworks offenses. In many cases, an officer may have falsely identified the person responsible for setting off an illegal firework due to fact that these offenses tend to occur in large gatherings of people where it may be difficult to identify the perpetrator.

Most fireworks offenses are misdemeanor level crimes. Those who are convicted can be sentenced to serve up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. The defendant would also have the fireworks seized and may be required to take a fire safety course. When the defendant is charged with possessing over 100 pounds of dangerous fireworks, he or she can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged with a felony, the defendant can be fined up to $50,000 and may be sentenced to serve up to three years in prison.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a fireworks offense, it is critical that you consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut understands how to effectively defend those who have been charged with illegally possessing, selling or manufacturing fireworks.

For more information about Los Angeles fireworks offenses, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.