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A person is assembling an electronic device that resembles a makeshift explosive.

PC 18720: Possession of Destructive Device Materials

Legal Definition: â€śEvery 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 in explosive-related cases under PC 18720 and PC 18710 is a serious legal matter that demands the expertise of a seasoned attorney. A felony conviction in such cases not only results in harsh penalties but can also have lasting consequences on your basic civil rights. It can permanently revoke your right to own or possess firearms, restrict your voting rights, and limit your mobility as a convicted felon.

Our attorney at Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense, specializing in Ontario PC 18720 cases, has an impressive history of successfully defending clients against explosive-related charges. With a deep understanding of the legal intricacies involved in these cases, we provide expert legal representation tailored to the unique aspects of your situation.

Don’t let a felony conviction derail your life. For expert legal representation and guidance you can trust, contact our Ontario-based law office today. Reach us at the Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney hotline: 909-281-0465. We are committed to advocating for your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for your case.

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

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