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If you or a loved one has been arrested for carrying a concealed dirk or dagger givfe our office a call and we can help you.  559441-1418. 

There is much confusion in the law and even amond some Attorneys as to what a dirk or dagger is and what constitutes some of the defenses for a dirk or dagger and what is not considered a dirk or dagger.  

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THIS OFFENSE?

1. The person carried on there person a dirk or dagger

2. The knew they were carrying it

3. it was substantially concealed.

4. The defendant knew that it could be readily used as a stabbing weapon.

WHAT IS NOT CONSIDERED A DIRK OR DAGGER?

There is a recent California Supreme Court decision from People v. Castillo  which went into detail what is not considered a Dirk or Dagger.  The court in part said that an ordinary pocket knife was never considered a dirk or dagger.   This included a Swiss Army knife that was the subject of the above mentioned case. The court also went into the fact that just because a swiss army knife is concealed does not turn the swiss army knife into a dirk or dagger. 

DEFENSES TO CARRYING A DIRK OR DAGGER

Illegal Search and seizure mant times police officers pull someone over and commit flagrantly illegal searches and seizures, the officers will sometimes attempt to justify these unlawful searches after the fact.  Unfortunately many times they get away with it.  However, whenever there is a search in a case we always look to see if there is a basis for a 1538.5 otherwise known as a search and seizure motion to be ran on the case.  We will look for did the officer have probable cause to search a vehicle, did he or she have any reason to believe that the person was armed and presently dangerous, and other considerations.  This is done make sure the officer actually had reason to search and uncover the items the person was later arrested for. 

2. The object was not a dirk or dagger by the definition.  In other words the items was not and was never meant to be dirk or dagger.  This can be defense to the crime, and can be complicated as I have seen people prosecuted for carrying ordinary household items and later prosecuted for carrying a dirk or dagger, if the item in the eyes of the prosecution was carried in the manner ordinarily used for that items. 

3. THE ITEMS WAS NOT CONCEALED. 

In order to be liable the dirk or dagger must be concealed carried outside the clothing properly stored and visible can be a defenses to the crime. Many people for there work must carry things that are considered illegal in another context.  Therefore, if you are carrying the item in a manner in which the items was meant to be used and not a a weapon than that can be a defense. As you can see these can be very tricky areas where there must be research on the items and determinations made as to whether this defensed should be used. 

A knife carried in a sheat and worn openly suspended from the waist fo the wearer is not considered conealed.  

 

IF THE ITEM HAS INNOCENT USES

If the item has innocent uses than the Judge or Jury will look at all the sorrounding circumstances, such as where the person was going at what hour with whom and whether the items was altered in any way to dtermine if the person is guilty. Again these are factual determinations. 

IF THE ITEMS HAS INNOCENT USES

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704
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Phone: 559.441.1418 
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