The law surrounding discharging of fireworks in Indiana
One of the many ways that Americans celebrate their holidays is by setting
off fireworks. In the Hoosier State, it's no different. With New Years
Eve almost here, it is important to make yourself aware of the laws surrounding
fireworks, so you can have a safe holiday season and minimize the possibility
of a fireworks personal injury claim.
Indiana fireworks law
Indiana counties have some ability to adopt ordinances that regulate the days and hours that consumer fireworks can be discharged. However, any ordinance adopted cannot restrict the use of fireworks during times that are established by the State of Indiana as a statewide minimum standard. Because of this standard, counties and municipalities must allow consumers to use fireworks at the following times:
Between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and two hours after sunset between June
29 and July 9 (except July 4)
Between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and midnight on July 4
Between 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1
In addition to the times above, if there is no municipal ordinance limiting the use of fireworks, a person may discharge fireworks between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. the rest of the year.
Under Indiana law, fireworks can only be purchased by someone who is 18
years of age or over. However, children may use fireworks if an adult
is present. All consumers must discharge fireworks on their own property,
on the property of another who has given permission to discharge fireworks
or at a special discharge location.
Penalties for violators
Under Indiana law, all persons who discharge fireworks at an unauthorized site can be charged with a Class C infraction, which carries a fine of up to $500. However, if the person was convicted of the same offense within five years, the person can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries an imprisonment term of up to 60 days and a fine of up to $500.
Minors under 18 who possess or use fireworks outside of the presence of an adult can also be charged with a Class C infraction (Class C misdemeanor if committed within 5 years of a previous conviction).
If a person recklessly or intentionally uses consumer fireworks and causes harm, serious bodily injury or death to a person, the criminal penalties get much more serious and can rise to the level of a felony.
In addition to possible criminal penalties, anyone who uses fireworks in
a negligent manner can be held civilly liable for injuries caused by their actions.
Consult an attorney
If you have been charged with a fireworks violation, contact a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with fireworks-related legal issues. An attorney can advise you of your rights and work to prepare an effective defense on your behalf.