Josh Covert

In The News

Thursday, June 21, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Josh Covert

In January of 2012, the state of Michigan amended the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, (MCL 28.462).  The new statute repeals MCL 750.243 (a)-(e) and now allows for the sale of both low impact fireworks and consumer fireworks.  Previously only low impact fireworks were legal.  Low impact fireworks are fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs, snaps and poppers.  Consumer fireworks are fireworks that produce visible effects of combustion.  Examples of “consumer fireworks” are Roman Candles, Bottle Rockets and any other fireworks that leave the ground.   

Although the sale and possession of low impact fireworks and consumer fireworks are legal, individuals can still find themselves in trouble with the law if the fireworks are not used appropriately.  The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act states that violations of the act are a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail.  If a person or property are damaged the penalty increases to 90 days jail time.  If the violation results in a serious impairment of a body function the violation becomes a felony punishable by up to 5 years jail time.  If death is the result the maximum punishment becomes 15 years imprisonment.  

There are several ways an individual can violate the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act for example consumer fireworks can not be ignited on public property, school property or church property without prior approval.  Individuals are also prevented from using either consumer fireworks or low impact fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.  The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act references the motor vehicle code to give meaning to the terms alcohol and controlled substances.  “I don’t see the value in criminalizing the use of sparklers while someone is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances” says attorney Joshua Covert of the Nichols Law Firm.  Covert further adds “The old fireworks statute did not criminalize the use of fireworks while under the influence and I don’t think most people know that they can be criminally charged with igniting a sparkler while under the influence” adds Covert.

If you have been charged with violating the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act you need an attorney who understands the act and the possible ramifications.    Call the Nichols Law Firm at 517-432-9000. 

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Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

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