Possession of a Baton
As an experienced criminal defense team, we know just how important it is for us to equip you with the proper knowledge and information you will need to defend your case. In this article, we provide you an overview of the legal restrictions of Possession of a Baton by addressing the following:
- What is a Baton?
- Penalties for violation
- Felony convictions
- Misdemeanor conviction
- Legal Defense and Exemptions
- You didn’t possess full knowledge of the weapon
- The defendant and/or weapon was discovered during an illegal search-and-seizure
- You work as a special police officer or uniformed security guard
- You have a permit
- Police misconduct
1) What is a Baton?
A prohibited weapon under CA PC 22210 can be considered but is not limited to any of the following[i]:
- leaded cane,
- sandbag or sandclub,
- and all other weapons with similar components/material as any of the above.
2) Penalties for violating California PC 22210
Any person who is convicted of a crime involving a prohibited weapon is punishable by either:
- Felony conviction—formal probation, imprisonment in county jail for up to 3 years and/or maximum fine of $10,000, or
- Misdemeanor conviction—informal (also known as “summary”) probation, imprisonment in county jail for up to 1 year and/or maximum fine of $1,000.
3) What kinds of activities are illegal?
Except for special police officers/uniformed security guards authorized to carry such weapons[ii], any person who:
- manufactures or causes to be manufactured,
- imports into the state,
- keeps, offers, or exposes for sale,
- lends, or
a weapon classified under the subdivision of CA Penal Code 16590(m) is subject to penalties.
4) Legal Defense and Exemptions
An experienced defender may be able to present several California legal defenses on your behalf:
- You didn’t possess full knowledge of the weapon
Before you can be found guilty, the prosecutor must first prove that you knowingly engaged in an illicit activity (see above for the list of activities). An important thing to note is that the prosecutor does not need to prove that you used the item, only that you knew it was capable of being used as a weapon. If you possessed the weapon thinking that it was fake, or if you bought the object from someone without knowing it could be used as a weapon, then you cannot be convicted of the crime.
- The defendant and/or weapon was discovered during an illegal search-and-seizure[iii]If the police searches and seizes the weapon by illegal means, then your attorney will try to have the evidence dismissed. The police can only legally arrest you for CA Penal Code 22210 if they have a reason to believe you were engaging in criminal activity, a search warrant to legally search, or your consent to search. Without such parameters taken by the law enforcers, your attorney will fight for your innocence.
- You work as a special police officer or uniformed security guard[iv]
If you work for any kind of protective service agencies for either entities that are in the business of selling clubs and batons to other special police officers and uniformed security guards or for entities that have hired you to work as a special peace enforcer, then you cannot be found guilty of possessing a weapon.
- You have a permit for the weaponThe California Department of Justice may issue some people a permit to carry certain weapons, including those listed under CA Penal Code 22210. For example, if you have been granted legal permission to possess a baton in your workplace, then you may have certain exemptions from being convicted of violating a crime. Consult with your attorney to find out what is considered legal consent.
- Police Misconduct
Entrapment[v]: If you can prove that you only engaged in the illegal activity because the police initiated the criminal conduct and persuaded, lured, coerced, or “tricked” you into doing so, then this is a serious and valid issue that your attorney can use to defend your case.For example: An undercover police officer approaches you about buying a baton. You deny him, telling him that you don’t own any for sale and that you have no idea where to even buy one because it is illegal. He tells you that he’s willing to give you whatever you want if you can find him one, and you still tell him “no.” However, he begs you and will not take “no” for an answer, threatening you that he will do all that he can to take you and your business down, continuing to bother you and disrupt your peace and/or business affiliation every subsequent day. Finally, you give in and tell him that you will sell one to him.
Violation: If you can prove that the police “planted” the weapon into your possession and subsequently found it “on” you, discovered the weapon via illegal search-and-seizure, threatened or forced you into confession, or simply failed to uphold your civil rights, then your attorney may request the court to override the alleged crime in favor of dismissing your charges.
We want to help…
If you or a loved one is being charged with violating CA Penal Code 22210 for possession of a baton, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP, or give us a call at (310) CRIM-LAW. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
Call now for a free case review | (310) CRIM-LAW | (310) 274-6529
[i] Found under CA Penal Code 22210
[ii] Under CA PC 22215, wooden clubs or batons for special police officers and unformed security guards are authorized to carry any wooden club or baton by entities that are in the business of selling wooden clubs or batons to special police officers and uniformed security guards when engaging in transactions with those persons.
[iii] The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
[iv] CA Penal Code 22295(a). Nothing in any provision listed in Section 16580 prohibits any police officer, special police officer, peace officer, or law enforcement officer from carrying any wooden club or baton.
[v] People v. West, (1956) 139 Cal.App.2d Supp. 923, 924. ("Entrapment is the conception and planning of an offense by an officer and his procurement of its commission by one who would not have perpetrated it except for the trickery, persuasion, or fraud of the officer. Persuasion or allurement must be used to entrap.")