When it comes to SAPS or other related weapons, these weapons can be prosecuted in Los Angeles County by the City Attorney's office or even the District Attorney's office in some jurisdictions. I have seen these weapons prosecuted under a number of circumstances.
In addition to Saps, Billy-clubs, Billie's, other items – even leaded canes – that are possessed for a purpose other than for an antique or some other lawful purpose will be prosecuted in LA County.
Use of Weapon in Unlawful Fight
Where I mainly see the SAPS being prosecuted in Los Angeles pursuant to Penal Code Section 22210 is when somebody is in some sort of unlawful fight and they use a SAP or a Billy-club or some other hard object.
Even baseball bats I've seen prosecuted when they're used in an unlawful matter in some sort of a physical altercation or fight.
A lot of times what I've seen, I've seen people driving around in cars with a baseball bat or even one of those dodger bats – the miniature hard wooden bats – and when the police pull you over and find it.
They always say to the person – hey, why do you have that back their – as soon as someone says for my protection, that shows them that you're possessing it and you're possessing it to use it in a deadly manner.
Whereas if you have a bat in the back of your car and you're headed to a baseball game and you're going to use a bat in a baseball game they can't charge you with that. Those little miniature bats are different.
A lot of people are keeping those in their cars in case there's some sort of trouble. If the police want, they can charge you with possession of a sap and use that Penal Code Section 22210 in order to prosecute you for a misdemeanor – you'd be looking at up to one year in the County Jail.
If you're on probation, it will violate your probation. There are all sorts of circumstances that can cause you to be prosecuted.
Another area where I'm seeing people get prosecuted for possession of these weapons – whether they be some sort of a SAP, a Billy-club, a Billy-jack and other weapons that can be used to inflict deadly force or great bodily injury is when the serve a search warrant at a house looking for some sort of drugs or some other illegal contraband.
They don't find that the police, so they decide because the find some sort of sap or Billy-club in a person's house, they charge them with that so all is not lost. At least they get some sort of a charge out of the time, effort and money that was put in executing that search warrant.
Defenses To Possession Of A SAP Or Similar Type Weapons – PC 22210
One defense is that what you possess you possess it for a lawful purpose. Some people have different items. I remember I purchased a billy-club at a swap meet. It was one of those old English Billy-clubs that the English police officers used to walk around with.
Technically, I could probably be able to justify that if I put that in some sort of a case or something and kept it in my home.
But I realize at some point when I see clients get prosecuted for these things that it's just not worth possessing anything that can be characterized as a SAP or a billy-club because if the police get their hands on it in a lawful manner, then they can charge you with it.
Just because you get charged with a crime doesn't necessarily mean you get guilty of it. However, who wants to even be in the position of having to defend a possession of a weapon or a Billy-club or a SAP in one of the LA county courts.
Obviously, nobody does. Other potential defenses that can be asserted, again, maybe this is an antique or maybe – if you've got a baseball bat – you definitely have a good argument if you're playing baseball.
Those little miniature clubs that you buy at the Dodger game – it really seems ridiculous that they prosecute those. But again, if you run out of your car in a roadway situation with the little mini bat to hit somebody, you're probably going to get prosecuted for it.
But if on the other hand, you have it at your house on a cabinet with a bunch of baseball cars, I don't see how they can prosecute you for something like that. A good defense attorney is going to be able to block that.
Review Your Case With An Experienced Lawyer
So, if you're charged with any type of possession of a SAP, a Billy-club or any of these weapons that they're claiming could inflict great bodily injury or deadly force – you're going to want to get an attorney like me who has been doing these twenty-five years.
I've had a lot of success, know how to defend the case, know when it can be argued that the weapon was possessed for a lawful purpose and when it wasn't possessed as a weapon.
So, what we would is we have you come in, we sit down. We go over the facts and details. I get my hands on the police report.
We talk about it and then I go to battle for you against the prosecutors even in a jury trial or a lot of times I'm able to work these things out informally with the prosecutors if you don't have a record and you weren't up to no good and maybe the police were a bit too zealous in actually arresting you or citing you into court. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for a case review.
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