24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials

5

THE BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR.

The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation

Blog

Penal Code 17235 | Definition of a Switchblade

Penal Code 17235 | Definition of a Switchblade

What exactly is a switchblade knife? Well, according to California Penal Code 17235, a switchblade knife means a knife that looks like a pocketknife and includes a spring-blade knife, snap-blade knife, gravity knife, or any other similar type knife where the blade is 2 inches or longer and can be released automatically by pressing a button, flipping your wrist, or some other mechanical device.

Basically, if you can press a button or flick your wrist and a knife blade pops out–that’s a switchblade. The law is pretty broad and includes any knife that works this way. It doesn’t matter if it looks like a normal pocket knife on the outside–if it’s spring loaded so the blade shoots out when you press something, it counts as a switchblade.

There are a couple exceptions though. Switchblades don’t include knives that you can open with one hand by just using your thumb. Like if there’s a thumb stud or disk on the blade that you can push on to swing the blade open. As long as you have to overcome some resistance or mechanism that holds the blade in place, those are still legal.

Why Are Switchblades Illegal in California?

Switchblades have been banned in California since the 1950s. The reason is that they were seen as dangerous weapons associated with gang violence. The spring-loaded mechanism allows the blade to be quickly deployed with one hand, which lawmakers feared could make them easy to use as offensive weapons.

Most other states also prohibit switchblades for similar reasons. They are considered dangerous concealed weapons and too easy to use impulsively compared to pocket knives. However, some states like New Hampshire and Arizona have repealed switchblade bans in recent years, arguing that they are outdated laws.

Penalties for Possessing a Switchblade

In California, it’s generally a misdemeanor to possess, sell, manufacture, import or lend a switchblade knife. The maximum penalties are:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000

However, if you have a previous conviction for a knife-related offense, it can be charged as a felony. Felony possession of a switchblade can result in:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • 16 months to 3 years in state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

Other circumstances can also lead prosecutors to charge it as a felony, like if you had intent to use it as a weapon, were engaged in gang activity, or resisted arrest.

Legal Defenses

If you’ve been accused of illegally possessing a switchblade, some legal defenses to fight the charges include:

  • You didn’t knowingly possess the knife – For example, someone left it in your car without your knowledge.
  • The knife doesn’t meet the legal definition of a switchblade – It may not open in the prohibited ways.
  • You have a valid use exemption – Such as for work, film production, or as part of a collection.
  • The search violated your rights – If police searched you or your property illegally, any evidence found may be inadmissible.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and advise you on the best defense strategies.

Related Offenses

There are a number of other laws restricting knives and weapons in California. Some of the most common related offenses include:

  • Dirks or daggers – It’s illegal to carry concealed dirks or daggers under Penal Code 21310.
  • Knives on school grounds – Bringing any knife with a blade over 2.5 inches onto school property violates Penal Code 626.10.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon – Using a knife during an assault can lead to additional charges under Penal Code 245.
  • Possession of brass knuckles – Carrying brass knuckles is prohibited under Penal Code 21810.

The circumstances surrounding the possession and use of the prohibited weapon heavily determine what charges you may face.

What To Do If You’re Charged With This Offense

Being charged with possessing a switchblade knife can have severe consequences for your freedom, finances, and criminal record. Don’t take chances by handling the case yourself.

Get experienced legal help on your side immediately. An attorney can advise you on all of your options and build the strongest defense to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t leave your future up to chance.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile

RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

view profile

JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

Associate Attorney

view profile

ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

view profile

CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

view profile

RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

view profile

CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now