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Photo of Joshua Nielsen

What is the charge of criminal use of laser device?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2022 | assault and battery

Laser pointers are a fun way to play with a cat, but did you know they can also be harmful? In fact, you could end up with a criminal charge if you do the wrong thing with one.

The North Carolina General Assembly explains you might face a charge of criminal use of laser device if you intentionally use one on a law enforcement officer or in some other situations.

The crime

Criminal use of laser device is an infraction, which is less serious than other charges. If you intentionally point one at a law enforcement officer or if you point it in the face of another person and the device is turned on, you are guilty of the crime. The idea behind this law is that lasers can be damaging to the eyes. Even if they do not hurt the other person, they can temporarily blind them, causing a safety issue.


The law does not apply in some specific situations. If a medical professional is using the laser to render services or treatments, then that does not violate this law. Law enforcement is also exempt when using a laser in the course of duty. Lastly, you will not get in trouble if you are using a laser to play laser tag, paintball or other games that use laser lights.

The criminal use of laser device law is meant to keep people safe. It helps prevent people from using lasers to intentionally harm others or cause safety issues. You should always be careful when using a laser device no matter whether you are in public or in the comfort of your own home.