Pyrotechnics are chemicals designed to put on brilliant visible and audible displays. Commonly used in the entertainment industry, these chemicals are put in a pyrotechnic device and can be very dangerous if safety precautions are not followed properly. To minimize serious damage to people and property, New York has rules that govern how pyrotechnics should be used indoors. One rule is you must acquire a permit before using pyrotechnics indoors. Failing to get a permit can result in criminal charges.
Penal Code 405.16
According to New York Penal Law § 405.16, you could be charged and prosecuted for aggravated unpermitted use of indoor pyrotechnics in the second degree for using indoor pyrotechnics without obtaining a permit. You may also be charged even if you get the permit but someone is injured because you failed to follow the requirements of the permit. At the very least, you could be fined $250 in fines if property is damaged.
An Example of Aggravated Unpermitted Use of Indoor Pyrotechnics in the Second Degree
Brian is the owner of a nightclub that hosted a special celebration. He gets a permit to use pyrotechnics during the Saturday night event. However, Brian decides to start the celebration one day sooner than the original permit allowed and a malfunction occurred. Two people were burned during the fiasco and Brian faces the possibility of being charged with aggravated unpermitted use of indoor pyrotechnics in the second degree. His permit only authorized use of the chemicals on Saturday night, not Friday night.
Legal Defenses Related to This Charge
If the two people injured in our example above only have minor bruising that went away within a few days after the event, Brian might have a strong argument that neither victim suffered a physical injury. Their injuries did not require a trip to the hospital or long-term treatment.
However, if the prosecutor can prove that the injuries of one or both victims were a “physical injury,” it is possible that Brian could be convicted of aggravated unpermitted use of indoor pyrotechnics in the second degree.
Sentencing if Convicted of Violating Penal Code 405.16
Being found guilty of aggravated unpermitted use of indoor pyrotechnics in the second degree is a class E felony and carries a prison sentence of up to four years. Five years of probation and a fine are additional punishments for a conviction. Additionally, you might be ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
Conviction comes as a result of the prosecution proves that because you ignited or detonated indoor pyrotechnics, you acted recklessly if it causes:
• physical injury to a person
• damages property belonging to another person and the value of that property is more than $250
Get Help from Spodek Law Group
To some people, four years is not a long time. It is, however, if you are living those years in prison after a conviction of aggravated unpermitted use of indoor pyrotechnics in the second degree. While the law is clear on what can lead to this type of charge, this does not mean you have to be convicted. Receiving the best defense from a NYC criminal lawyer increases the odds that you will not face prison time.
The Spodek Law Group has many years of experience defending clients with successful defenses against this and other criminal charges. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation review of your case.
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