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Penal Code 22410 PC | Possession of Shurikens

Penal Code 22410 PC | Possession of Shurikens

Hey there! If you’re reading this, you probably got caught with a shuriken (also known as a throwing star or ninja star) in California. Don’t worry, you’re not alone – this law catches a lot of people by surprise. Let’s break down what 22410 PC means and what you can do about it.

What is a shuriken?

First things first – what exactly is a shuriken? California law defines it as a metal object shaped like a star (or other geometric shape) with sharp blades or points sticking out. They are designed to be thrown at targets. Other names include:

  • Throwing star
  • Ninja star
  • Shur

So if it’s a metal star-shaped thing with sharp edges that can be thrown – it’s probably illegal here. Bummer if you’re a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan!

What does 22410 PC prohibit?

This law makes it illegal to:

  • Make or manufacture shurikens in California
  • Import shurikens into California from other states
  • Sell or give shurikens to someone else
  • Possess shurikens

Yep, just having one is against the law here. Even if you bought it legally somewhere else and never planned to use it. Even keeping one as part of a collection or display can get you in trouble.

Why are they illegal?

The reasoning behind 22410 PC is that shurikens have no lawful purpose. They are mainly used to injure or threaten people in fights or attacks. The state government decided to just ban them altogether to prevent violence.

Of course, some people just think they’re cool to collect or use for target practice. But California lawmakers were more concerned about their potential for harm.

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What are the penalties?

A shuriken possession charge can be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony, known as a “wobbler” offense. This gives prosecutors flexibility based on your criminal history and the circumstances of your case.

If charged as a misdemeanor, you face:

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

If charged as a felony, you face:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison
  • A fine up to $10,000

The judge will look at factors like:

  • Your past criminal record
  • Whether you were carrying the shuriken for protection
  • If you used the shuriken to threaten or harm someone

No prior record and no evidence you planned to use it? You’ll probably catch a break. But any sign you carried it as a weapon will be bad news.

Are there defenses?

Don’t panic yet – a good lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Here are some common defenses:

  • You didn’t actually have a shuriken – If the object doesn’t precisely match the legal definition, you have a case. The law is very specific.
  • You’re exempt – Police and other law enforcement officers can possess shurikens legally.
  • Illegal search – If police found the shuriken through an illegal search, the evidence may get thrown out.
  • False confession – If police coerced you into a confession, it cannot be used against you.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the details of your case and decide how best to challenge the charges.

What happens after an arrest?

If you’re arrested for shuriken possession, you’ll be booked into jail and have to post bail to get released until your court date. Bail amounts vary greatly, but expect to pay thousands of dollars.

You’ll be formally charged at your arraignment hearing when you enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. After that, your lawyer will review the evidence and discuss defense strategies and plea bargain options with the prosecutor.

Most 22410 PC cases end with plea deals resulting in reduced charges and lighter sentences. But if you take it to trial and lose, you could be looking at the maximum penalties. An attorney can advise you on the pros and cons here.

Related charges

Shurikens fall under the broader category of dangerous or deadly weapons prohibited in California. Some other charges in this category include:

  • Switchblades – Penal Code 21510 PC
  • Nunchucks – Penal Code 22010 PC
  • Brass knuckles – Penal Code 21810 PC
  • Billy clubs – Penal Code 22210 PC

Facing other weapons charges? The same defenses often apply. An attorney experienced with weapons crimes can help.

What now?

Getting arrested is scary, but getting informed can help you make smart choices. Here are some tips:

  • Don’t say anything to police without your lawyer present – it can only hurt you.
  • Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice closely throughout the legal process.
  • Prepare a strong defense focusing on the weak points of the prosecution’s case.
  • Explore plea bargain options that may include reduced charges and penalties.

With the right legal strategy, you can move past this. It’s going to be okay! But don’t go it alone – get experienced legal help on your side and let them protect your rights.

Well, that covers the basics of shuriken possession charges in California. It’s a complex issue, so don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney for personalized guidance. Wishing you the very best!

 

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