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Class 3 Lasers

Tackleberry

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Hi guys and girls. Just trying to get my head around the idea of laser power and class. Long story short I was arrested here in Australia and one of the charges I am facing is possession of a restricted weapon. When the cop interviewed me he asked if I knew what kind of laser I had and I replied "Yeh, a green one" he said "no, it's a class 3"
Now, I picked this thing up on ebay and as far as I can remember it doesn't have any markings on it stating anything of the sort. My argument is, and this is basically what I want to confirm, that all green lasers are not class 3, and all class 3 lasers are not necessarily green. Am I correct in this statement?
In my trial (set for March next year) I am going to have the lawyer ask if they have tested it to work out the wattage, and if they haven't, how they can say it's a class 3. Do I have a leg to stand on, or am I pissing against the wind.
Thanks for your time.

Cheers
 

steve001

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Hi guys and girls. Just trying to get my head around the idea of laser power and class. Long story short I was arrested here in Australia and one of the charges I am facing is possession of a restricted weapon. When the cop interviewed me he asked if I knew what kind of laser I had and I replied "Yeh, a green one" he said "no, it's a class 3"
Now, I picked this thing up on ebay and as far as I can remember it doesn't have any markings on it stating anything of the sort. My argument is, and this is basically what I want to confirm, that all green lasers are not class 3, and all class 3 lasers are not necessarily green. Am I correct in this statement?
In my trial (set for March next year) I am going to have the lawyer ask if they have tested it to work out the wattage, and if they haven't, how they can say it's a class 3. Do I have a leg to stand on, or am I pissing against the wind.
Thanks for your time.

Cheers
It's highly unlikely your laser does not exceed the 1 mW restriction. Your argument is correct, but it has absolutely no relevance to your predicament.
 
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Cyparagon

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I'm no legal expert, but last time I checked, it's up to the prosecution to prove their case, not for you to disprove it. Is the procedure different in Aus?

As to your other question, laser safety classification depends on several factors, with the two primary ones being beam diameter, and beam power. Color plays no role... unless it's obscure such as NIR or UVC.
 

paul1598419

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I don't know how the legal system works in OZ, but here, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Few lasers bought on eBay are 1 mW or less, so you are likely not going to win on that alone, but if the prosecution hasn't measured the power of your laser, and pray that they didn't, you should have a reasonable doubt as to whether you have broken any laws.
 

Encap

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You are right not all green lasers are Class 3 and not all Class 3 lasers are green. Not knowing what Class laser you had seems more the point.

You need to hire a lawyer and ask the lawyer the appropriate questions and have him contact the police department who arrested you and speak with the prosecutor about it, obviously.
Different parts of Australia have different slightly different laws and practices.

Basically any laser pointer >1mW is considered a prohibited weapon and you need permission buy or possess one

You can look at a review of Australian laser laws here: http://www.laserpointersafety.com/rules-general/intllaws/intllaws.html#Australia_General
 
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Tackleberry

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Thanks for all your replies. It's basically what I thought. I just have to hope that they haven't tested it and my lawyer is as good as I think he is. A lot of these things come down to who can talk the talk, which is why I'm not representing myself.
 

GSS

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I realize it's still illegal to have a laser over 1mw, just curious as to how the arrest happened? Were you pointing it around outside or out your window?
I would also think the unit was labeled 1mw from the ebay supplier? Do you have the actual link?
 

CurtisOliver

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As we have no legal qualifications we cannot give legal advice. However there are few points of which I have seen mentioned already that I'll look at. I've put the cases in order of potential weight in court.

Case 1:
If the warning label stated it was a Class 2, then it would be difficult to disprove the fact that you didn't know the laser was a Class 3a/3b.
This also goes if there was no warning label at all. You would have to provide the link to the purchase too. This ensures that you didn't knowingly buy a laser more than 1mW.
If however the label did state Class 3a/3b, or the listing stated the laser exceeded 1mW then you have no case here.

Case 2:
As others have already said, the laser was not tested to see if it exceeded the 1mW limit. This is like pulling someone over for speeding, but not checking the speed that they was doing. It might have appeared obvious to the officer that you was speeding, but this wouldn't stand up in court. It is and most likely will be argued that the officer had no means at the time to test the unit before the arrest. But afterwards the unit should of been tested to confirm the suspicion. Bad news for you though if they had, as it would of exceeded 1mW. Also I don't know about AUS law, so I don't know if it acceptable to test it later on if needed for the case. I know some courts allow time to gather more evidence. If allowed this would like shooting yourself in the foot. The only argument would be then, is when was the laser power meter last calibrated? Or did you get multiple readings?

Case 3:
This comes down to perspective and to be honest can't really be called a case.
"Yeh, a green one" he said "no, it's a class 3"
That doesn't come across to me like the officer is stating, because it's 'green it must be class 3'. I honestly think this perception is a misunderstanding, unless further discussion led you to think this. The officer most likely did not arrest you over for the colour of the laser. They would of arrested you over the apparent power of the laser. So I don't believe this has any grounding at all. Even if the officer did think of it like that. It really wouldn't change anything. This would be like pulling someone over for the colour of their skin, and then finding that they are up to no good after all. It doesn't matter if their reasons for the arrest were wrong, it doesn't change the fact that you have broken the law. So using this really wouldn't help you I don't believe.
 
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steve001

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Speaking of law breakers, one of my fav shows was the Oz production titled: "Prisoner Cell Block H"
 
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GSS

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First off the gun sounded like a cap gun, had no recoil in a woman's hand and the barrel didn't even turn..
And why would you wan't to scare this guy with a prison theme show???????
 

steve001

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First off the gun sounded like a cap gun, had no recoil in a woman's hand and the barrel didn't even turn..
And why would you wan't to scare this guy with a prison theme show???????
It's make believe.
He's not a harden criminal like the characters in a tv show.
 

steve001

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Thanks for all your replies. It's basically what I thought. I just have to hope that they haven't tested it and my lawyer is as good as I think he is. A lot of these things come down to who can talk the talk, which is why I'm not representing myself.
Let us know what happens.
 
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Sunny17

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Hey, I’ve been looking through ebay quite frequently. Unless it’s a small pen one or keychain one, there’s almost no chance it’s under 1mw. If it’s bigger than a small tube of toothpaste, it’s most likely greater than 20mw, 50mw even. If it’s one of the generic $5 301/2/3 and it’s red, it may even be above 200mw
 

smallfreak

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Unless it’s a small pen one or keychain one, there’s almost no chance it’s under 1mw.
Even those are quite often way overspec. There are numerous „cat toys“ that are highly unsuitable for the intended use, unless you want to hurt the poor animal.

It‘s so bad that mislabelled Lasers and lying sellers are so common. If you never have seen a true < 1 mW Laser, how could you judge yours is „much more“? There is no such thing as a natural feeling for Laser power. It is bright. It‘s a Laser. I‘s SUPPOSED do be bright, isn‘t it?

@Tackleberry I hope you get out easy. As long as nobody actually has been harmed you might convince the court you are not Dr. Evil or Darth Vader.
 

paul1598419

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I do have a <1 mW 660nm laser. It is still bright enough to see the spot, but it is not an eye hazard as I have often looked at the reflected output and can see the interference patterns in my eye. It is very cool. But, I still only look at the reflection.
 

Mosc007

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I also have a genuine 650nm < 1 mW for my Cat toy. It has a nice bright spot in the dark. But it wasn't cheap. It cost over $50 US. Is a brand name that can be trusted. LPM at 0.95 mW.

You do have to care full with Ebay lasers. I bought a pack of 3 pen style lasers. 638, 532, 405. Output on the 405 was 18mw. The 532 was about 15mw and the 638 was about 12mw. They were all labelled < 1 mW.

Even worse is the 301 style 532's from Ebay. Labelled < 5 mW they are usually 50-80 mW.
 




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