In general, individuals in the state of California are not allowed to carry concealed weapons. This applies to firearms and bladed weapons. California Penal Code Section 21310: Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger charges can be used to prosecute individuals who attempt to hide certain bladed weapons on their person.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you go over the uses of PC 21310 charges in California’s legal system. Use the information in this article to focus on the:
- Definition of Dirks and Daggers.
- Penalties for a PC 21310 Conviction.
- Legal Defenses for Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger.
- Charges Similar to Carrying Concealed Weapons.
Penal Code Section 21310: The Legal Definition
Individuals in California can be prosecuted under PC 21310 if they:
- Knowingly Carry a Dirk or Dagger on Their Person.
- Substantially Conceal the Dirk or Dagger While Carrying It.
Dirks and daggers are two terms used to describe the same kind of weapon. These terms refer to bladed objects that can be used as a stabbing weapon. These weapons may or may not have a handguard. Bladed weapons are only considered dirks or daggers if they could easily be used as a stabbing weapon.
Penal Code Section 21310: Exceptions
As mentioned earlier, PC 21310 charges only apply if an individual attempts to conceal a bladed weapon that could be used to stab someone. This means that the following weapons generally do not qualify as dirks or daggers:
- Bread Knives or Other Rounded Blades.
- Closed Pocket Knives or Non-Locking Folding Knives.
Additionally, individuals in California are allowed to carry certain knives on their person as long as they are in a sheath and not concealed. Straight knives, along with open and locked folding knives, may be openly worn in a sheath.
There are also some knives that cannot be legally worn at all. It does not matter if they are sheathed, concealed, or otherwise worn openly. Individuals can face criminal charges for carrying:
- Ballistic Knives.
- Cane Knives.
- Lipstick Knives.
Carrying these knives may result in criminal charges under California Penal Code Section 16590: Manufacturing, Selling Or Possessing Dangerous Weapons.
Penal Code Section 21310: Penalties
Carrying a concealed dirk or dagger can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony in the court system in California. The penalties for a misdemeanor PC 21310 conviction can include:
- Fines of Up to $1,000.
- Jail Time of Up to One Year.
The penalties for a felony conviction are generally harsher. Individuals charged with a felony charge of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger may face:
- Fines of Up to $10,000
- Prison Time of Up to Three Years.
Note that individuals who draw and attempt to use a dirk or dagger can face harsher charges for brandishing a weapon. If someone is injured or killed, the penalties in California can increase substantially.
Penal Code Section 21310: Legal Defenses
There are several legal defenses that can help you deal with PC 21310 charges. A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you resolve these charges in your favor. Reach out for professional help now. Your lawyer could work to show that:
You Were Legally Carrying a Dirk or Dagger
As we mentioned earlier, you are allowed to carry some knives as long as they are not visible on your person and contained in a sheath. While this defense will not apply if you were carrying certain knives – like a switchblade – it can apply in many other circumstances.
Your Knife Didn’t Qualify as a Dirk or Dagger
Dirks and daggers must meet a very specific definition in California. If you were carrying a dull blade, like a butter knife, it would not be considered a dirk or a dagger. This means that you should not be convicted under PC 21310 for tucking a dull knife under your shirt, for example.
You Were Illegally Searched for the Dirk or Dagger
Sometimes, law enforcement officers in California overreach when performing searches. If you were subjected to an illegal search, the evidence against you could be blocked, resulting in the dismissal of your PC 21310 charges.
Build a Defense for 21310 Charges in California
You can stand up to California Penal Code Section 21310: Carrying a Concealed Dirk or Dagger charges by reaching out to the Simmrin Law Group right now. Our professional criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles are here to go over all of your legal options, starting with a FREE initial case evaluation.