Juvenile crimes: defenses for illegal blade possession
The U.S. Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. However, all states, including California, have statutes that address the legality of certain weapons. Although firearms get most of the media attention, they are not the only weapons legislated. If your child faces weapons charges for having an illegal knife, they could get jail time.
The American Knife & Tool Institute reports that the California penal code limits a broad range of readily available weapons. Some have restrictions on the sale or transfer of these weapons. Other statutes restrict the location and circumstances in which you may carry them. Your child’s history, specific weapon and situation might determine the conviction penalty. You may have multiple defense options available if your child faces charges associated with violating knife laws.
Unlawful search and seizure
State statutes address knives that individuals may wear openly but not concealed, those that they can carry concealed and openly and knives declared illegal. Weapons that individuals cannot legally possess, manufacture, sell or import, include the following:
- Belt-buckle knives
- Ballistic knives
If officers found these weapons during a search without a valid search warrant. You might challenge the allegations and get them excluded from evidence in your child’s criminal case.
Knife not illegal
Many knives have a precise legal definition. This may enable you to show that the knife in question does not fit the description. For example, a switchblade includes the appearance of a pocketknife with a blade at least two inches long. The flick of your wrist, a button or pressure on the handle releases the blade. If the length was under two inches or other details vary, the court may not convict.
No knowledge of the prohibition
The prosecutor must prove that your child knew the weapon he had was not legal. You might have inherited it from a loved one or purchased an antique blade as a collectible. Without intent, the charges may get reduced or dismissed.
A conviction can change your child’s life and them from living where they want and holding certain types of jobs. Understanding weapons charges and the laws that accompany them is critical for protecting your rights.