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Federal Criminal Code Chapter 10 – Biological Weapons

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2021 | Federal Crimes |

Most people would agree that there is nothing more irritating and bothersome than falling ill. It keeps you out of work, school, or any activity for that matter. On top of potentially missing crucial events, your health is also deteriorating which could lead to expensive medical bills. These all sound like bad news, but what happens if someone deliberately engineers a deadly disease and weaponizes it against America?

As surreal as it may sound, biological weapons are a very real threat. In fact, biological attacks have happened as early as the 12th century. Considering the devastating effects that biological weapons may cause, Federal Criminal Code Chapter 10 has made it illegal to:

  • Knowingly develop, produce, store, transfer, acquire, keep, or possess any disease-producing agents for the purpose of using it as a weapon;
  • Knowingly develop, produce, store, transfer, acquire, keep, or possess any disease-producing agents without legitimate medical purpose;
  • Take part in assisting a foreign entity to produce, store, transfer, acquire, keep, or possess any biological weapon; and
  • Attempt, conspire, or threaten to develop, produce, store, transfer, acquire, keep, or possess any biological weapon.

The aforementioned provisions are only the general foundations of the federal criminal code. Under the same chapter, the following are also unlawful:

  • A restricted person (i.e., a fugitive, illegal immigrant, a convict) to receive or transport any biological agent for interstate or foreign commerce; and
  • Bioengineer, possess, use, or threaten to bioengineer, possess, or use the variola virus.

Committing any of these acts is a violation of Federal Criminal Code Chapter 10 which is prosecuted by a federal court.

Related Offenses

There are several related offenses to Federal Criminal Code Chapter 10, which are:

  • HIV-infected blood transfusions and medical donations;
  • Intentionally or wilfully transmitting infectious disease;
  • Criminal threats;
  • Chemical weapons;
  • Genocide; and
  • Terrorism.

Penalties

Violation of Federal Criminal Code Chapter 10 is a very serious crime that carries harsh legal consequences for whoever commits it.

For those who develop, produce, store, transfer, acquire, keep, or possess any disease-producing agents, as well as assisting foreign entities for doing the same, for the purpose of using it as a weapon shall face the following penalties:

  • Fines, and/or
  • A life sentence or any term of years.

Meanwhile, developing, producing, storing, transferring, acquiring, keeping, or possessing any biological weapon for no actual peaceful or legitimate medical purpose would result in:

  • Fines, and/or
  • Up to 10 years imprisonment.

A restricted person who transports or receives any disease-producing agent shall be punished by:

  • Fines, and/or
  • Either 5 or 10 years imprisonment, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Finally, three conditional penalties are imposed to whoever develops, use, or threatens to develop and use variola virus:

  • The standard penalty is a fine not exceeding $2,000,000 and either 20 years or 30 years minimum sentence.
  • If someone died due to the development, use, or threat to develop and use the variola virus, the penalty now involves a fine not exceeding $2,000,000 and imprisonment for life.

Call Our Law Firm For Help

If you are being accused of developing, storing, transferring, acquiring, keeping, or possessing any disease-producing agents for the purpose of using it as a weapon in California, we are here to extend our help. With more than four decades of experience in the field, our criminal defense attorneys will make sure that you will have your case properly assessed. Most importantly, we offer the best legal options for each of our client’s unique cases so you don’t have to stress about strategizing. Leave it to us and call us now.