Carrying Concealed Explosive, Dirk or Dagger
In California, you can be charged with carrying a concealed explosive, dirk, or dagger, even if you had a legitimate reason to be doing so and if you didn't plan to use the item. This can carry severe penalties and turn your life upside down. Learn what to expect from one of these trials and how a California criminal defense attorney can help.
Being Charged with Carrying a Concealed Explosive or Dirk or Dagger
California's laws concerned themselves with individuals who unlawfully carry either a concealed explosive, dirk, or dagger in unnecessary situations. But to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove several things according to California Penal Codes 21310 and 16470.
- The defendant carried an explosive, dirk, or dagger
- The defendant knew they were carrying the device or item
- The device or item was concealed substantially
- The defendant knew that the explosive or weapon could be used to hurt others
Note that the prosecution doesn't have to prove that the defendant intended to use the alleged explosive or weapon. It's indeed a crime just to have these on your person illegally and concealed.
Penalties for These Charges
The penalties for these charges vary based on whether the alleged unlawful item was an explosive or a dirk or dagger.
Dirk or dagger violations can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor charges can carry penalties including:
- Misdemeanor probation
- County jail for up to one year
- A fine of up to $1000
Meanwhile, felony charges carry penalties including:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Felony probation
- Time in county jail for up to three years
Carrying a concealed explosive carries similar charges for both counts, but it's more often than not charged as a felony because of the greater destructive potential inherent in such devices.
Defenses for These Charges
The letter of the law as described above opens up several strategic avenues your defense counsel can use to avoid a conviction.
If the explosive device, dirk, or dagger was not concealed in any way, it's not technically the same crime. Concealment implies a level of malevolent intent that holding a knife or explosive device does not. Regardless, a lack of concealment may exonerate you for this particular crime.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
The police must have reasonable cause to search your person and find a concealed explosive, dirk, or dagger in the first place. If your defense counsel can prove that reasonable cause did not exist, your charges may be dropped.
Sometimes, police can mistake other objects for explosives or dirks or daggers. If this is the case, you obviously didn't commit the above crime.
Contact a California Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Regardless of the exact circumstances of your case, it's in your best interest to contact the law offices of Peter James Chambers right away. With a free consultation, we can get started on your case and begin working on a defense strategy aimed at securing a full acquittal.