It is obviously illegal to possess, manufacture, sell or in any way have anything to do with a sword cane. I've actually had a number of these cases where people are going out in public – whether it be to a club or a bar – and of course the sword cane doesn't become an issue until there's some sort of a fight or altercation.
Then once a sword cane is brought out – obviously that can do some serious damage to an individual. If the police catch you with a sword cane, then you will be arrested and prosecuted pursuant to California Penal Code 20510 and this is something that happens all the time in Los Angeles County.
It's serious business. If you're charged with possession of a sword cane, you definitely want to get an attorney who can help you and hopefully bring out some of the mitigating factors related to you and your life.
Punishment for Possession of a Sword Cane
As far as punishment goes, depending on your criminal record and the circumstances of you possessing the sword cane, that's likely going to dictate how the prosecutors deal with the case.
They can give you probation and anywhere from zero to 365 days in the county jail, or if it's a serious enough case and your record is serious enough, they can attempt to send you to prison for up to three years.
So, the bottom line is there is a lot of exposure as far as time and custody goes. Of course, there are other punishments that can be doled out for possession of a sword cane.
It could be community service, Cal Trans, community labor, fines, all sorts of different classes that a person could be ordered to do. They could be never to possess or own any type of a weapon for the rest of their life depending on what the conviction.
If it's for a felony, certainly during the probationary period a person who possessed a sword cane and was convicted, would not be able to own, use or possess any weapons.
Defenses To Possession Of A Sword Cane
The bottom line is – and this is where it gets a little bit tricky – you're obviously entitled to use reasonable force to defend yourself or to defend others.
So, if somebody had a knife or a gun or some other deadly weapon and they were trying to hurt you or another person and you used your sword cane to defend yourself, there's an argument that that could be self-defense.
In other words, as long as you're acting reasonably under the circumstances, it is possible that you could use a sword cane to defend yourself. The problem of course is just by its very nature, it's illegal to possess the sword cane.
So, it doesn't all of a sudden become legal just because someone's trying to stab you with a knife and you use the sword cane to defend yourself. You're still guilty of possessing an illegal weapon.
The issue is going to be whether you were entitled to possess the sword cane in defense of yourself, because otherwise they could charge you – with that serious of a weapon – with assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder depending on the circumstances.
So, there's a number of different circumstances where somebody could be coming at you with deadly force and you could certainly defend yourself with deadly force.
As far as other defenses go related to possession of a sword cane, obviously it's going to have to be some sort of a weapon that meets the qualifications of Penal Code Section 20510, and that really has to do with it actually having a long blade and being able to be concealed and pulled out as a true sword cane.
Other defenses would obviously depend on the circumstances of the case – what happened, how the weapon was found – sometimes people have antique weapons.
They have no intention of using it against anybody and they just possess them as an antique – this could still be – under the wrong circumstance – if the police find you with a sword cane they can charge you.
I remember a long time ago I bought one of those old billy clubs that the English police used to walk around with and I realized – once I started seeing clients getting arrested for these type of things – I needed to get rid of it because if somehow the police got into my house and found this type of a weapon, I could be charged with it.
So, if you have anything that could qualify as a sword cane you should get rid of it because you could be charged with it if the police find out that you have it. So, any defense related to possession of a sword cane is going to spin on its own facts and circumstances and the type of weapon that you have and the circumstances surrounding it.
Determining Best Strategy for Favorable Outcome
If somebody possesses an antique sword cane and it's hanging on their wall, that's obviously a far cry from taking it out in public and using it as a weapon against another person.
So, the prosecutors would certainly consider as far as how they would deal with a case – whether they want a felony or a misdemeanor, whether they would want jail or prison or community service or some other punishment.
That's where you have to get a good criminal defense lawyer who has handled these types of cases in Los Angeles County and knows how to deal with the prosecutors, knows how to marshal the facts and circumstances, and also get character letters and the good things about your life and of course, get your version of the story across to the prosecutors so that a fair resolution can be reached in your case. Contact the Hedding Law Firm to review your case.
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