Who would have thought that using a common laser pointer outside of a school setting could lead to criminal charges? In Florida, it is illegal to shine a laser pointer at a person or their car in a manner that can cause harm.

When you are charged with illegally using laser pointers in Plantation, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced criminal defense Attorneys. Our team at Leifert & Leifert can help defend you by showing that you did not intend to hurt anyone with the laser. We will protect your rights every step of the way.

Laser Pointer Laws in Florida

At the federal level, laser pointers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are different classifications for laser pointers depending on their power output and potential to cause eye damage.

State laws are more stringent than federal regulations. It is illegal for any Plantation resident to use, possess, or sell a laser pointer with an output above 5 milliwatts, regardless of the device’s FDA classification. Even if the laser is labeled as safe and FDA compliant, if it exceeds 5 milliwatts, it is considered illegal.

Illegal usage of lasers poses a risk of eye injury, especially to Law Enforcement, pilots, and Public Safety Officers. A strong-beamed laser pointed at an aircraft can distract and temporarily blind pilots. Possession of an illegal laser pointer can also be charged as a federal crime if it’s used to disrupt the operation of an aircraft.

Apart from risks to aviation, high-powered lasers can be dangerous in public settings. Lasers can temporarily or permanently blind drivers and cause injuries at sporting events or concerts.

Legal Uses for Laser Pointers

Lasers can be used for legitimate educational, commercial, and agricultural purposes. These are also commonly used by Law Enforcement, firefighters, and authorized Public Safety Personnel throughout the course of their duties.

Low-beam lasers can also be used for recreational purposes, such as for laser tag games. The burden of proof is on the accused individual to show that their use of the laser pointer falls under one of these exceptions.

Stages of the Investigation

If an individual is accused of illegally possessing or using a laser pointer, it is important to hire competent legal representation. Our laser pointer attorneys will investigate the specific facts of the case, such as:

  • The power output of the laser pointer
  • The circumstances of how you obtained the laser
  • Whether your usage falls under one of the legal exceptions

Our attorneys will also investigate the circumstances of the case, the location where the laser pointer was used, and if there was proper documentation (if high-powered lasers were used for work or research).

Penalties Upon Conviction

If you are a Plantation resident convicted of illegally using laser pointers, the penalties change depending on the circumstances and severity of the conduct. Penalties may include fines, community service, and even imprisonment.

Under Florida Statute § 784.062, it is a Misdemeanor to possess, use, or sell a laser pointer with an output above 5 milliwatts. The penalties are up to one year in County Jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a permanent criminal record.

If the illegal use results in bodily injury, the charges can be raised to a third-degree Felony, which has Prison time up to five years and fines up to $5,000.

Consult a Plantation Attorney on the Illegal Use of Laser Pointers

Many of us think of laser pointers as office or presentation tools. However, the reality is that Florida has one of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to laser usage and possession. It is, therefore, important to stay informed and compliant.

If you have any other questions or need legal assistance regarding illegal use of laser pointers in Plantation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Leifert & Leifert. We are here to help make sure that you stay on the right side of the law.

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