What is a dirk or a dagger?
California law defines a dirk or dagger as a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. In addition, a dirk or dagger can also be a non locking folding knife, a folding knife, or a pocketknife that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.
California Penal Code (CPC) 16470
16470. As used in this part, “dirk” or “dagger” means a knife or
other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready
use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or
death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not
prohibited by Section 21510, or a pocketknife is capable of ready use
as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death
only if the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.
Possession of a Dirk or Dagger in California
California Penal Code 21310 makes it a crime to carry a concealed dirk or dagger on your person.
California Penal Code (CPC) 21310
CPC 21310. Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section
17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who carries
concealed upon the person any dirk or dagger is punishable by
imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment
pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
What are the Elements of “carrying a concealed dirk or dagger” under CPC 21310?
To sustain the offense of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, the prosecution must prove that:
- you carried on your person a dirk or dagger;
- the dirk or dagger was substantially concealed;
- you knew that you were carrying it; and
- you knew that it could readily be used as a stabbing weapon.
How can I fight a charge of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger in California?
There are a number of California legal defenses that a good criminal defense lawyer can present on your behalf.
The following are some examples:
You didn’t knowingly carry a dirk or dagger. Perhaps you borrowed a jacket and you really did not know what was in the pocket.
The dirk or dagger wasn’t concealed. If the weapon was in plain view and not substantially concealed upon your person, you did not violate the statute.
The weapon was discovered during an illegal search and seizure.
The police planted or fabricated evidence.
The possession of a dirk or dagger is considered a wobbler in California. This means a violation of this section can either be a felony or misdemeanor violation. If you are charged with possession of a dirk or dagger, you need to speak to an experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney. The Law Office of Elliott N. Kanter will do a thorough investigation of all the facts and raise all possible defenses. Mr. Kanter has over 30 years of experience in dealing with possession of a dirk or dagger cases and has successfully defended similar individuals. Please call 619-330-5881 or submit a secure online case review for a prompt reply from Attorney Elliott N. Kanter. We are here to help you.
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