The safety of all Americans is one of the most important priorities of the government. For that reason, there have been many laws passed to outlaw or restrict certain dangerous materials – one of which is the Federal Criminal Code Chapter 11B.
In this federal law, chemical weapons are being focused on. A chemical weapon may be any of the following:
- Any toxic substance intended to cause death, temporary or permanent harm to a human or animal;
- Any chemical reactant which would complete the production of a toxic chemical; or
- Any munitions or equipment specifically engineered to release toxic chemicals for the purpose of inflicting harm or death to humans or animals.
A few examples of a chemical weapon include:
- Mustard gas;
- Hydrogen cyanide;
- Tear gas;
- Spray tanks; and
With that in mind, Federal Criminal Code Chapter 11B makes it illegal to do the following with chemical weapons:
- Willfully develop, produce, obtain, transfer, receive, store, retain, own, possess, or use, or threaten to use chemical weapons; and
- Assist or influence another individual to develop, produce, obtain, transfer, receive, store, retain, own, possess, or use, or threaten to use chemical weapons.
But of course, there are exceptions to this law. The prohibition does not apply to:
- A government department or agency authorized by law to retain, own, possess, or transfer a chemical weapon;
- Any lawfully authorized individual who owns, possesses, retains, transfers, or receives a chemical weapon;
- Any innocent civilian who is attempting to destroy or seize the weapon during an emergency situation;
- Any chemical device used for individual self-defense, such as pepper spray or chemical mace;
- Any chemical device used for industrial, agricultural, research, medical, or other peaceful purposes;
- Any chemical device used as protection against toxic chemicals and chemical weapons; and
- Any chemical device used to control violent and harmful events, such as domestic riots.
If your use of any toxic substance or chemical cannot be justified by any of the aforementioned exceptions, then you are violating Federal Criminal Code Chapter 11B.
There are several related offenses to Federal Criminal Code Chapter 11b, such as:
- Use of biological weapons;
- Use of explosives and other dangerous articles;
- Importation, manufacture, distribution, and storage of explosive materials;
- Destruction of, or interference with, vessels or maritime facilities;
- Terrorism; and
- War crimes.
There are conditional penalties for whoever violates Federal Criminal Code Chapter 11b. For instance, the standard penalty is a fine and/or imprisonment for any terms of years.
However, if the crime involves the death of another person, the penalties are:
- Death penalty, or
- Life imprisonment.
Aside from criminal penalties, the Attorney General may also push a civil case against the defendant. If proven guilty, the punishment is:
- Up to $100,000 of civil fines.
On top of all these, the defendant will be mandated to reimburse any expenses made by the United States in relation to the confiscation, storage, handling, transference, and destruction of any substance or material used in the crime.
For Federal Charges – Call a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged for committing a federal crime is a serious legal issue that you should not underestimate. The consequences are harsh and devastating not only to you but to your loved ones as well. That is why we are here to help you challenge any federal charge against your name. If you have been accused of using chemical weapons in California or any other federal crime for that matter, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyers.