Penal Code 20710 PC – California Law re: a “Shobi-Zue”

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” (“SZ”).

A “SZ” is a stick or pole with a knife inside.

Examples of illegal acts under PC 20710 include:

  • Manuel has a SZ and gives it to his friend Sarah.
  • Sarah takes the shobi-zue from Manuel and stores it in her garage.
  • Montel does some research on the internet and makes a SZ from items purchased at a hardware store.

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Penal Code 20710. These include showing that an accused party:

  • did not have a “shobi-zue;”
  • is free from prosecution; and/or,
  • was falsely arrested.

Penalties

A violation of PC 20710 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:

man holding stick
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” (“SZ”).

1. The legal definition of a shobi-zue and what is prohibited under Penal Code 20710

Penal Code 20710 is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a SZ.1

Under California Penal Code 17160 PC, a “shobi-zue” is a stick or pole with a knife or blade inside it.2

Please note that SZs 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 20710 can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense.

Three common defenses to PC 20710 accusations are:

  1. no “shobi-zue;”
  2. free from prosecution; and/or,
  3. false arrest.

2.1. No shobi-zue

Please recall that Penal Code 17160 provides a specific definition of what a SZ 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 20710, he did so with an object that was not a “shobi-zue.”

2.2. Free from prosecution

Please note that certain people are free from prosecution under Penal Code 20710. 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. False arrest

Police sometimes arrest the wrong person. If a prosecutor cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is the person who violated PC 20710, then the crime should be dismissed.

man behind bars
A violation of this law can result in a fine and/or jail time

3. Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing

A violation of Penal Code 20710 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 20710 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 SZs. These are:

  1. illegal acts with wallet guns – PC 24710;
  2. illegal acts with a cane sword – PC 20510; and,
  3. illegal acts with an air gauge knife – PC 20310.

4.1. Illegal acts with wallet guns – PC 24710

Penal Code 20710 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess a wallet gun.6

A violation of PC 24710 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 cane sword – PC 20510

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.8

A violation of PC 20510 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 an air gauge knife – PC 20310

Penal Code 20310 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to make, import, sell, give, or possess an air gauge knife.10

A violation of PC 20310 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 shobi-zue in California? Call us for help…

shobi zue criminal defense attorneys
Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Penal Code 20710 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 20710 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 shobi-zue is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”

  2. California Penal Code 17160 PC.

  3. California Penal Code 16590 PC.

  4. California Penal Code 20710 PC.

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

  6. California Penal Code 24710 PC.

  7. See same.

  8. California Penal Code 20510 PC.

  9. See same.

  10. California Penal Code 20310 PC.

  11. See same.

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