Will a misdemeanor go on my son’s record and what are the chances a judge might dismiss it?

My son (20 yreas old next month was skateboarding with a friend in a business area. A policeman told them to leave, but first he asked them if they had anything illegal on them. My son admitted he had a knife. The policeman wrote him a ticket and told him to appear in court (next week). The policeman called the knife a switch-blade. My son called it a butterfly knife. He said he just carries it because it looks cool and you can do tricks with it. He has no record otherwise. Should he plead guilty? Will a public defender help him?

Asked on March 23, 2012 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Rather than your son pleading guilty to the charge against him, I recommend that he consult with a criminal defense attorney, private attorney or a public defender. Possibly a good criminal defense attorney can get the charges dismissed assuming the knife was a legal butterfly knife.

A switchblade knife (illegal in most states) has a spring to flip the balde. A butterfly knife does not. The blade is gravity released via a flip of the hand. The district attorney's office has to demonstrate that the presumed confiscated knife is illegal. From what you have written it might not be illegal.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.