For many people, pepper spray can be a necessary asset of survival and
personal safety. In the state of California, it is legal to purchase or
own pepper spray containers that are 2.5 ounces or less. Pepper spray
can be used in self-defense against human attackers, most vicious dogs,
bears, mountain lions and other wild animals.
Know the Laws Surrounding Pepper Spray
If you plan to use or possess pepper spray in California, it must have
a warning label that states the product is only intended for self-defense
and can be used in self-defense situations where you fear your life or
your safety is in imminent danger.
In California, it is a criminal offense to use pepper spray against another
person out of anger or in a way that is not considered self-defense. Doing
so can result in a fine and/or up to 3 years in state prison.
Appropriate Effects & Use of Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is a chemical that can cause serious pain and even temporary
blindness because it is derived from a chili plant. Once sprayed on someone’s
face, it causes them to respond by closing their eyes, coughing, and tearing
up. It can cause severe discomfort for about 30 minutes or more depending
on the strength and amount used.
Pepper spray use is only permissible for self-defense. It is important
to note that displaying it in a threatening manner is also considered
use of pepper spray.
Who is eligible and ineligible to carry pepper spray?
Under Penal Code § 12403.7, the following people are ineligible to
own or possess pepper spray:
- A person who has been convicted of a felony or any crime involving an assault
- A person who has been convicted for the misuse of tear gas
- An individual who is addicted to any narcotic drug
- A minor child or person
It is illegal to sell or furnish any tear gas or tear gas weapon to a minor.
Also, purchasing, possessing, or using any tear gas weapon that releases
a projectile, or releases the tear gas by any method other than an aerosol
spray, or that contains more than 2.5 ounces of aerosol spray is illegal
under California law.
Have you been arrested for the possession or use of pepper spray or tear
gas? We can help. Contact our Dublin criminal defense attorney
to get started on your case today.