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Los Angeles Carrying a Dirk or dagger Lawyers

On California Penal Codes 21310 & 16470 – Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger

The first blades were made from stone. Then, slowly but surely, our species has worked its way through the Bronze age and the Iron age shortly thereafter. For millennia, cutting tools have served humankind as an invaluable tool. However, as history has clearly shown, knives serve a dual utility: that of a practical appliance, and that of a weapon. The only thing dividing the two is a person’s intention. This is why the State of California has written clear legislation concerning the possession and/or brandishing of a dirk or dagger. Whether you find yourself unknowingly carrying a cutlass, or you’ve been mortally wounded by a shiv-wielding maniac: one thing is certain. Our law firm can confidently and consistently help you navigate the Californian justice system in accordance with your specific needs.

The word “dirk” leads us back to the 16th century, and refers to a type of short, pointed edge that Scottish highlanders would carry with them throughout their day. Nowadays, the words “dirk” and “dagger” mean the same thing when used in a legal sense. California Penal Code 16470 PC defines either as:

  • a knife or other instrument
  • with or without a hilt
  • that is or could be readily used as a stabbing weapon, and
  • that could inflict significant or substantial physical injury or death

On a related note, folding knives (strictly excluding switchblade knives) are considered deadly stabbing weapons if the blade of the knife is exposed, and said blade is locked into position. That having been noted, one may legally conceal a folded pocket knife or utility knife upon their person as long as the blade is closed or if the knife cannot be locked into an open position. Tangentially, in accordance with California law “Straight knives… and folding knives that are opened and locked… may be worn under California’s ‘open carry’ knife law (Penal Code 20200) if they are carried in a sheath that is worn openly. The aforementioned weapon sheath may only be attached to one’s person at the waist. Spring-loaded knives – such as switchblades, ballistic knives – are vehemently prohibited. Furthermore, “novelty” blades – such as one hidden inside the handle of a cane or a false tube of lipstick – are equally as impermissible.

The penalty for improperly carrying or concealing a knife in California can be punished either as a misdemeanor or a felony dependent on the finer details of the case in question. As a misdemeanor, precedent has established a guilty sentence of up to one year in county jail, and/or up to a $1,000 fine. As a felony, one faces a stiffer sentence of anywhere from 16 months to 3 years imprisonment in county jail, and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

As anyone could see, this is an area of law over which many lawyers have vigilantly pored. Our team at our firm is supremely practiced in both prosecution and defense, and not only concerning these aspects of law. As well, we’re always entirely up to date with new and evolving precedent cases. We’ve devoted our careers to assuring that our clients get the best and most just outcome in any case. We at (blank) firm aim to represent all that is just and verdant in our society, and to uphold those virtues with an everlasting resolve. Allow us the privilege of representing your cause.

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