Shooting off fireworks, some might argue, is an American tradition. Indeed, at least on the country’s birthday, seeing fireworks is common—if not expected. But while fireworks may feel patriotic, can be beautiful, and are often a festive and fun way to celebrate, they’re not always legal. And shooting off illegal fireworks can lead to penalties in our state. Here’s what you should know about which fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts and what the potential penalties are for breaking the state’s fireworks laws—
Are Fireworks Illegal in Massachusetts?
The most important thing to know about using fireworks in Massachusetts is that if you’re using them, you’re breaking the law. That’s right—Massachusetts has some of the strictest laws on fireworks in the country, which prohibit individuals from selling, keeping, possessing, using, controlling, or exploding any combustible substance, fireworks included. This means that all consumer fireworks are illegal in the state, and this includes sparklers! Unless you purchase and maintain a professional display license, if you sell, buy, keep, or light fireworks, you’re breaking the law.
Criminal Penalties for Illegal Fireworks in Massachusetts
While you may be tempted to try to get away with lighting off a few fireworks, especially on the Fourth of July, know that if you do get caught, you could face tough penalties. Possessing and selling fireworks can both lead to fines; you could even face jail time in some cases! Note that you cannot be arrested for simply possessing fireworks.
Are There Civil Penalties for Using Illegal Fireworks?
Not only may you be arrested and face a fine and potential jail time if you sell fireworks, but you could also face civil penalties if your sale or use of fireworks leads to damages or injuries to another party. For example, if your fireworks cause an injury to another individual or start a fire, the damaged party may have the right to bring forth a civil action for damages against you. A civil action won’t have any criminal penalties—i.e. you can’t be sent to jail if found guilty—but it could result in monetary damages. This means that you could be made to pay for the value of harm caused to the other party. And this is on top of potential criminal penalties!
What Happens if You’re Caught with Illegal Fireworks in Massachusetts?
In most cases, if you’re caught with illegal fireworks in Massachusetts, a law enforcement officer will write you up and you’ll be fined. If you are caught selling fireworks, you could be arrested and face jail time as well.
Call The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski Today
Fireworks are fun, but they can be dangerous and they are always illegal in our state. If you are charged with a fireworks crime, it’s smart to know what your legal options are. At The Law Office of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you on your case and help you manage your defense strategy. Visit us online or call today at (978) 397-0011.