Penal Code 20510 PC – California Law re: “Cane Swords”

Penal Code 20510 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a “cane sword,” (“CS”).

A “CS” is an object that looks like an ordinary cane but has a concealed sword inside it.

Examples of illegal acts under PC 20510 include:

  • Leslie buys a cane sword outside of California, but then drives it back into the State.
  • Julie sells a CS to a neighbor.
  • Johan does some online research and makes a CS with some parts purchased at a hardware store.

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Penal Code 20510. These include showing that an accused party:

  • did not have a “cane sword;”
  • is free from prosecution; and/or,
  • was arrested after a coerced confession.

Penalties

A violation of PC 20510 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Either charge is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail; and/or,
  • a significant fine.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

cane sword
Penal Code 20510 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a “cane sword,” (“CS”).

1. The legal definition of a cane sword and what is prohibited under Penal Code 20510

Penal Code 20510 is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a cane sword.1

A “CS” is an object that looks like an ordinary cane but has a concealed sword inside it.2

Please note that cane swords are also prohibited under California Penal Code 16590, or California's statute on generally prohibited weapons.3

2. Legal defenses

A person accused under Penal Code 20510 can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense.

Three common defenses to PC 20510 accusations are:

  1. no “cane sword;”
  2. free from prosecution; and/or,
  3. coerced confession.

2.1. No cane sword

Please recall that Penal Code 16340 provides a specific definition of what a CS is. This means that it is a valid legal defense for an accused to say that while he may have committed an illegal act under PC 20510, he did so with an object that was not a “cane gun.”

2.2. Free from prosecution

Please note that certain people are free from prosecution under Penal Code 20510. For example, members of law enforcement agencies may sell, transfer, or possess these weapons. It is a defense, therefore, for a defendant to show that he falls into one of these exempted categories.

2.3. Coerced confession

California law states that police may not use overbearing measures to coerce a confession.

If a party can show that the police coerced him into a confession, then:

  1. the judge may exclude the confession from evidence; or,
  2. the case could get dropped altogether.
man behind bars for cane crimes
A violation of this crime can result in a fine and/or jail time

3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing

A violation of PC 20510 is a wobbler offense under California law. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.4

If a PC 20510 violation is charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in a county jail for up to three years; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $10,000.5

4. Related Offenses

There are three crimes related to illegal acts with cane swords. These are:

  1. illegal acts with a shobi-zue – PC 20710;
  2. illegal acts with a lipstick case knife – PC 20610; and,
  3. illegal acts with a cane gun – PC 24410.

4.1. Illegal acts with a shobi-zue – PC 20710

Penal Code 20710 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a shobi-zue, or a pole with a knife hidden in it.6

A violation of PC 20710 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Either charge is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail; and/or,
  • a significant fine.7

4.2. Illegal acts with a lipstick case knife – PC 20610

Penal Code 20610 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a lipstick case knife.8

A violation of PC 20610 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Either charge is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail; and/or,
  • a significant fine.9

4.3. Illegal acts with a cane gun – PC 24410

Penal Code 24410 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a “cane gun.”10

A violation of PC 24410 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Either charge is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail; and/or,
  • a significant fine.11

Were you accused of committing a crime with a cane sword in California? Call us for help…

california cane sword criminal defense
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Penal Code 20510 PC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 20510 PC. This code section states: “Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any cane sword is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”

  2. California Penal 16340 PC.

  3. California Penal Code 16590 PC.

  4. California Penal Code 20510 PC.

  5. See same. See also California Penal Code 1170(h) PC.

  6. California Penal Code 20710 PC.

  7. See same.

  8. California Penal Code 20610 PC.

  9. See same.

  10. California Penal Code 24410 PC.

  11. See same.

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