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Penal Code 18720: Possession of Destructive Device Materials (Bomb Making) Laws in California

PC 18720: Possession of Destructive Device Materials

Legal Definition: “Every person who possesses any substance, material, or any combination of substances or materials, with the intent to make any destructive device or any explosive without first obtaining a valid permit to make that destructive device or explosive, is guilty of a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment..”

To be found guilty under PC 18720 the prosecution must prove that you intentionally:

  1. You possessed a substance/material/combination of substances and materials;


  1. When you possessed those items, you intended to make an explosive/destructive device.

What does this mean?

An explosive is any substance, or combination of substances:

  1. Whose main or common purpose is to detonate or rapidly combust and
  2. Which is capable of a relatively instantaneous or rapid release of gas and heat.

An explosive is also any substance whose main purpose is to be combined with other substances to create a new substance that can release gas and heat rapidly or relatively instantaneously. A destructive device is defined here. A person does not have to actually hold or touch something to possess it. It is enough if the person has to control it/the right to control it, either personally or through another person. All that is required under this section is that you intended to make the device, it is not required to be proven guilty if you were never going to actually use the bomb that you created.


A violation under PC 18720 is a felony offense in California. If convicted under this section, you could be sentenced to State Prison for upwards of two, three, or four years. You would have to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You would also lose your 2nd Amendment Right to possess a firearm for life and be subject to fines upwards of $10,000.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you could face Deportation in Immigration Court since the offense could be considered an aggravated felony and is a crime of moral turpitude, making you now deportable.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Coerced Confessions
  5. Entrapment

If you are able to show that you possessed the materials, but lacked the intent to actually make or construct a bomb, you could not be found guilty under this section. Remember, it’s a requirement to possess the items with the intent to create a destructive device or bomb. Failing to show your intent, would mean there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the crime.

Entrapment occurs when police, or their agents, encourage or promote the crime by way of their overbearing conduct. The idea has to be formed in the mind of the police, and not on the Defendant, in order to successfully use this defense. If your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can show that you were entrapped into possessing the destructive device materials, through a possible undercover operation, Entrapment would act as an affirmative defense to the charges. This would mean your case can be dismissed if your attorney can show you were entrapped and improperly influenced by police to commit this crime.

Call Today

Facing charges related to explosives under PC 18720 and PC 18710 is a critical legal challenge that requires the precision and expertise of a highly experienced criminal defense attorney. Such felony charges carry severe penalties and create lasting impacts, including the revocation of fundamental civil liberties such as firearm ownership, voting rights, and the enduring label of a felony conviction.

Why Choose Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense for Your Case?

At Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense, our Ontario-based attorney specializing in PC 18720 has a proven track record of defending clients against explosive-related charges. Leveraging our extensive legal knowledge and strategic defense approaches, we’re dedicated to navigating the complexities of these serious accusations on your behalf.

Our Approach to Your Defense:

  • Tailored Legal Strategy: Understanding the unique facets of explosive-related cases, we customize our defense strategy to align with the specifics of your situation, maximizing the potential for a favorable outcome.
  • Protecting Your Civil Rights: Recognizing the significant consequences of a felony conviction, our primary aim is to safeguard your civil liberties and mitigate the long-term impacts on your life.
  • Comprehensive Legal Support: From initial consultation through to case resolution, we provide unwavering support, ensuring you’re informed and prepared at every stage of the legal process.

Secure Your Future with Experienced Legal Representation

A conviction in explosive-related cases can alter the course of your life. With stakes this high, the expertise of Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense becomes indispensable. Don’t face these charges alone. Contact us today for expert legal representation and a dedicated defense.

Contact Us Now for Expert Defense

For professional guidance and expert defense in PC 18720 and PC 18710 cases, reach out to our Ontario-based law office. Contact Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126 to discuss your case and begin charting a path toward the best possible legal outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Does the attorney offer confidential consultations?

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Does the attorney offer payment plans?

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Is the consultation free?

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Are the consultations in person or only over the phone?

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Is the office open on weekends?

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Does the attorney serve all of California?

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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