California Penal Code 18740 PC makes it a felony to set off – or attempt to set off – an explosive for the purpose of harming other people or property. The penalties include a state prison sentence of three, five, or seven years. But the defendant may be eligible for a suspended sentence and probation.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
18740. Every person who possesses, explodes, ignites, or attempts to explode or ignite any destructive device or any explosive with intent to injure, intimidate, or terrify any person, or with intent to wrongfully injure or destroy any property, is guilty of a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for a period of three, five, or seven years.
It is a California crime for anyone to explode a destructive device (such as a bomb) with the intent to either:
- injure someone,
- intimidate someone,
- terrify someone,
- injure property, or
- destroy property
PC 18740 also comprises situations where the defendant merely possesses an explosive or attempts to detonate an explosive as long as the defendant’s motivation was to hurt others or damage property.1
Exploding – or trying to explode – a destructive device with criminal intent is a California felony punishable by either:
- 3 years in prison,
- 5 years in prison, or
- 7 years in prison
It may be possible for the defendant to get probation for part or all of the sentence depending on the case. Courts are more likely to impose laxer punishments if no one gets hurt.2
PC 18740 is a more serious crime than mere possession of a destructive advice (PC 18710) with no intent to harm or terrorize. When there is no criminal intent, the prosecutor can press charges as either a felony or a misdemeanor.3
- California Penal Code 18740 PC – Possession, explosion, or igniting, with intent to injure or intimidate; Punishment. People v. Godwin (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 1112, 37 Cal.Rptr.2d 708. People v. Quinn, (1976) 57 Cal.App.3d 251, 129 Cal.Rptr. 139. People v. Dimitrov (1995) 33 Cal.App.4th 18, 39 Cal.Rptr.2d 257. People v. Morse (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 620, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 343. People v. Azevedo (1984) 161 Cal.App.3d 235, 207 Cal.Rptr. 270.
- PC 18740.
- PC 18740. PC 18710. People v. Westoby (1976) 63 Cal.App.3d 790, 134 Cal.Rptr. 97.