A New Jersey man found himself behind bars recently after being arrested and charged with possession of a destructive device and unlawful storage of explosives. The 64-year-old admitted to making and storing fireworks in his home, but he claims that this is just a hobby and was not intended to be used as a bomb or to destroy anything. The homemade device in question is a metal can with a fuse and contains flash powder.
After his arrest, the man was released on $100,000 bail. He pled guilty to the charges in US District Court, and he could be sentenced to years in prison, plus a hefty fine.
What Does This Mean for Me?
According to New Jersey statute, “Any person who knowingly has in his possession any destructive device is guilty of a crime of the third degree.” This means that it's against the law to possess any device that could be used as a bomb. It's considered a prohibited weapon. The device that the New Jersey man was arrested for contained flash powder. Although flash powder is commonly used to make fireworks, it's illegal to sell flash powder without a license or to use it in a destructive device. The law also states that it is illegal to manufacture explosives without a permit from the commissioner.
In New Jersey, it is even illegal to purchase most types of fireworks that are commercially manufactured. The New Jersey Explosives and Fireworks Act of 2017 made it legal to buy and possess non-explosive fireworks, like sparklers, snakes, glow worms, and smoke bombs. However, aerial fireworks and explosive fireworks are still illegal. If you're playing around with fireworks and someone gets hurt, or their property gets damaged, you could be arrested and charged with criminal mischief.
As Memorial Day and the 4th of July approach, keep in mind that making or even just having fireworks can get you in big trouble. Go ahead and buy some sparklers and snakes for the kids to have fun with at home, but if you want to see some bigger fireworks, go to a local community display. Don't try to buy them and set them off at home. They're dangerous to you and your neighbors, and if you get caught, the price is too high.
What Should I Do if I Get in Trouble for Having Fireworks?
If you get in trouble for possession of fireworks or explosive devices, you need Attorney Joseph D. Lento on your side to guide you through this process and protect you. Call us right away to represent you and get you through this situation with the least trouble.