California’s knife possession and carry regulations can be convoluted. Even though carrying a knife is not always prohibited, doing so can make you more likely to run into difficulty with the law. Even if your actions were finally determined to be legal, you might still have to deal with the inconvenience of being detained, missing work, and paying any associated fines.
Understanding the regulations governing specific knife kinds is essential if you intend to carry or own one in order to prevent getting into legal trouble. Keep reading to learn the basics and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 if you are facing any type of weapons charges.
What types are legal?
The first thing to know is what kinds of knives are acceptable for personal use. Certain knives are prohibited from being owned, sold, or manufactured in California because the state deems them to be dangerous weapons.
Knives that are used frequently in criminal activity but are concealed or deceptive because they do not clearly resemble knives are generally considered prohibited. Ballistic knives, cane knives, air gauge knives, lipstick knives, belt buckle knives, writing pen knives, switchblades with a blade of two inches or longer, and undetectable knives constructed from materials that cannot be detected by metal detectors are among the knives that are prohibited in California.
When can you carry a knife?
Even if a knife is lawful to own, there may still be restrictions on how and whether it can be carried openly. Folding knives can typically be carried openly or covertly as long as they are in the closed position. According to California Penal Code Section 17235, a folding knife is one that can be opened with one hand by pressing down with the thumb on the knife’s blade or a thumb stud that is affixed to the blade. Swiss Army knives and pocketknives are examples of these acceptable knives.
On the other hand, pursuant to California Penal Code Section 21310, some knives must be carried in plain view. This means that they cannot be carried in public while being stowed away in a pocket, purse, backpack, or other bag. Instead, they can only be worn on the carrier’s waist in a sheath.
Knives with fixed blades, stiletto knives, and even chef’s knives are among the “dirks and daggers” that are covered by this “open carry” regulation. This special rule applies to dirks and daggers since they can be used easily as stabbing weapons and have the potential to cause serious harm or death. As a result, the law aims to prevent surprise attacks by making sure that anyone nearby may easily see the knife carrier.
Penalties for knife carrying illegally
The aforementioned statutes carry harsh penalties for noncompliance. If you are found in possession of, engaged in the sale of, or engaged in the manufacture of a forbidden knife, the prosecution may file a misdemeanor or felony charge against you. A misdemeanor could result in $1,000 in maximum fines, and up to a year or six months in county jail. If you’re accused of a more serious felony, you could face 10,000 in maximum fines and 16 months to 3 years in county jail.
A felony or misdemeanor charge may be brought for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger. Punishments for a misdemeanor include $1,000 in maximum fines and one year or less in county jail. Punishments for a felony conviction include 16 months to 3 years in county jail as well as fines of up to $10,000.
Do not face weapons charges alone. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a legal consultation today.