By: Frances Prizzia | Holiday Crimes

Table of Contents

With the 4th of July almost upon us, many people have already heard their neighbors shooting fireworks late at night. However, some areas of California are extremely dry this time of year, and state and federal laws prohibit the use of certain fireworks.


M-80s are a type of firework that many people love. They are large and powerful firecrackers that used to be made in the early 20th century by the U.S. military to simulate explosives or artillery fire. According to federal law, civilians need a license issued by the federal authority to use M-80s. They are classified as a Class C (consumer) firework. In the late 1960s, M-80s and cherry bombs were both restricted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Child Protection Act of 1966 to prevent people and property from being damaged.


A skyrocket is a kind of firework that uses a solid-fuel rocket to rise quickly into the sky and explode. Skyrockets are also considered a "dangerous" firework under California Health and Safety Code 12505 HS. Unless you have a special license to work with dangerous fireworks, you should only be using the kid designated as "safe and sane" by California law.


You could be convicted of possessing and/ or distributing illegal fireworks if you are caught with one of the above, which could lead to misdemeanor charges. Penalties usually include up to 1 year in county jail and between $500 and $1,000 in fines, potentially more if you caused bodily harm or property damage. However, if you are caught with large quantities of illegal, dangerous fireworks, you could be convicted of a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and your criminal history. For example, a person convicted of possessing not more than 5,000 pounds of dangerous fireworks can face up to a year in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $10,000. Even greater quantities of fireworks will lead to increased fines, particularly if you sell any of these fireworks to anyone under the age of 18.

If you are facing criminal charges for possessing, using, or distributing illegal fireworks, you need an experienced Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer on your side. A conviction could not only be expensive but could put a mark on your permanent record, which could make it difficult for you to find a steady job. Likewise, the fines you are saddled with could be extremely high. The skilled attorney at The Law Office of Frances Prizzia has dedicated her practice to upholding the constitutional rights of her clients. Let her passionately defend your rights and freedoms.

Contact Attorney Frances Prizzia at (888) 392-8114 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation today.

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