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Penal Code 248: Shining a Light into an Aircraft Laws in California

PC 248: Shining a Light into an Aircraft Laws

Legal Definition:

PC 248: “Any person who, with the intent to interfere with the operation of an aircraft, willfully shines a light or other bright device, of an intensity capable of impairing the operation of an aircraft, at an aircraft, shall be punished…”

For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 248 the prosecution must show that:

1. You interfered with an aircraft;


2. You willfully shined a light or another bright device of an intensity capable of impairing the operation of an aircraft.

What does this mean?

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage. The most common example of this offense happens when a person shines a laser pointer at a helicopter (an aircraft low enough to be bothered by a shining light) and your light interferes with their ability to operate the aircraft. It doesn’t mean that the aircraft were to crash, it simply means any kind of interference, even slight. Even if this is done momentarily, if it is reported that it interferes with the aircraft’s ability to see, or move, then you can be charged under this section.


A violation under PC 248 is a misdemeanor only offense. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. PC 248 is not a strike offense under the Three Strikes Law, and it is also not a charge requiring Sex Registration under PC 290. You could likely face a loss, suspension, or revocation of your professional license. You could also face immigration consequences if you are a non-US Citizen living in the United States, since this may be considered an aggravated felony under Federal Law.

Common Defenses

1. Statute of Limitations

2. Insufficient Evidence

3. Violation of Rights

This is a crime that requires you to act “willfully”. That would mean, that an accidental shining of light, such as a laser pointer, must be done with the intent to interfere with the aircraft. An accidental doing of this would act as a defense of this charge. Your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can argue that there is therefore insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the crime.

Another possible defense deals with how the police handle your contact and arrest. If the police were to search your home or your person without any probable cause that you are the person who committed this offense, your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can argue that they committed a violation of your Fourth Amendment Rights, and can file a PC 1538.5 motion to Suppress the evidence found as part of the unlawful search and seizure. Your case would not be dismissed, but if the item used for the shining of the light is taken through an illegal arrest, then that cannot be brought into Court, and your case would then likely dismissed without that lighter.

Call Today

Facing criminal charges under PC 248, related to shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle, carries significant consequences that extend far beyond the courtroom. Such a conviction can severely limit your personal freedom, tarnish your ability to secure employment, and leave an indelible mark on your criminal record, impacting your life on multiple fronts.

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, located in Ontario, CA, our PC 248 attorney brings to the table a wealth of experience and a proven track record of defending thousands of individuals facing similar charges. We understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to providing a robust defense aimed at preserving your freedom and protecting your future.

Why Trust Inland Empire Criminal Defense for Your PC 248 Case?

  • Extensive Experience: Our dedicated PC 248 Ontario attorney is well-versed in the nuances of criminal defense, having successfully navigated countless cases with circumstances similar to yours.
  • Personalized Strategy: Recognizing that every case is unique, we tailor our defense strategies to meet the specific needs and objectives of each client, ensuring the most favorable outcome possible.
  • Round-the-Clock Support: We offer 24/7 availability to address your concerns and answer any questions you might have throughout the legal process, providing peace of mind and informed guidance every step of the way.

Initiate Your Defense Journey Today

If you’re facing charges under PC 248, the potential implications on your life and future are too significant to ignore. Engaging with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial in navigating these challenges and securing the best possible outcome.

Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense Now

Do not let the possibility of a criminal conviction jeopardize your freedom and future. Reach out to Inland Empire Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126 for a free initial consultation. Our commitment to your defense is unwavering, and we’re prepared to leverage our expertise and resources to fight for you. Conveniently located in Ontario, CA, we are strategically positioned to serve clients throughout the Inland Empire.

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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