Posted On:4/11/2006 6:50pm
Okay I am looking for some help from the people on this forum who are more knowledgeable then I am.
Long story short I got pulled over by a police officer and had my car searched and they found a tanto in my car. (It got jammed up under the drivers’ seat when I moved and forgot that it was there).
The tanto is a replica that my brother bought for me when I was practicing Aikido; the Blade literally has no edge to it. It is about as sharp as a practice wooden Tanto. (hell I couldn't even cut an apple with it if I wanted to)
But since the tanto was found under the drivers’ seat I am getting charged with a felony CCW.
I am trying to get as much information as I can on the subject regarding training weapons and how that factors into things of this nature, because I know the my Lawyer is not going to know all that much about this aspect of the law.
I live in Michigan, and was wondering if anyone could help me out or point me in the direction of where I could find some good information about regarding training weapons and CCW's.
Also it is my understanding that owning a sword is illegal in Japan, and only collectors are allowed to own one with a special permit. If someone could please point me in a direction where I can verify this and maybe be see how the Law is worded. I can show that even the Japanese don't see this as a weapon.
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated
Posted On:4/11/2006 7:01pm
As a lawyer, I don't want to contradict your counsel but the standard question would be whether Michigan has a statute that addresses martial arts weapons. In such a statute there is often a provision for taking said martial arts weapon to and from the dojo. You are no longer training in Aikido but you should get an affidavit from your former instructor that this weapon was used for training purposes in his classes. Since you are no longer training you will probably fall outside any such statute however it will give your lawyer something to plea bargain with.
As to the question of whether the search was lawful that is up to your lawyer.
Posted On:4/11/2006 7:02pm
Talk to a lawyer in your area.
People are going to give you good advice. Yet, the laws vary state to state. Plus, there must be more to the story if they searched your car.
Not saying anything against you, just that you need a lawyer.
One Ambulance, Eleven Cops...
Posted On:4/11/2006 9:55pm
Style: Kung Fu
It's not a weapon.
“We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
BJJ wins again!
Posted On:4/11/2006 10:31pm
LAWYER LAWYER LAWYER.
It doesn't matter if you consider it a weapon or not. The law will go by its own definitions, and they come up with some deusies.
That said, here's a start. You need to put a lot more work with this along with your LAWYER. Did I mention a LAWYER? You have been charged with a FELONY and you need a LAWYER.
Anyway, at www.packing.org you can find the following summary of the section of Michigan statute that applies to carrying a knife:
750.226. Carrying with unlawful intent
Any person who, with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person of another, goes armed with a pistol or other firearm or dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, or knife having a blade over 3 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars.
They're going to argue that your tanto is either a knife with a blade > 3" length, or a "dirk" or "dagger." This probably has nothing to do with having an edge, so you can probably forget a "but it's dull" defense. An ice pick or a tri-corner blade would probably qualify, and they have no edges either, nor does a shiv made of rebar with a point ground on.
The good news for you is the intent clause. Illinois has something similar. A strict reading of this law would seem to suggest that they're going to have to show that you were "carrying" the knife with intent to harm someone unlawfully.
In my opinion, this is a sign of a "pile-on" law, something that exists to provide a way to pile another charge onto someone who commits a real crime. In most cases, it's probably easy for them to show intent because they're charging someone who did stab somebody or at least made an attempt.
You, on the other hand. . . unless there's a lot you're not telling us, this might be your best hope.
I personally carry a knife in Illinois that would violate their statute, except that I am not carrying it "with intentl unlawfully to harm another." I would also point out that they shouldn't be allowed to argue that you were carrying the knife for self-defense without your lawyer pointing out that self-defense is not unlawful.
Now, all this is worth exactly nothing. It is the opinion of some jackass on the internet who doesn't even live in Michigan. Now you need to go out and do your own research and see if any of it holds up.
Again, courts may have interpreted this statute exactly the opposite way in the past for any number of reasons, and if so, all the logic and reason above won't mean anything. Go see your lawyer. If he doesn't seem to have a clue AFTER you meet with him, you might give him this info. For the most part, listen to him. But be careful about accepting a plea bargain. It's a good way for a prosecutor to get you for something when he knows he can't get the conviction in court.
Places to research:
www.packing.org ---CCW information for all 50 states
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/ ---Michigan Legislature's homepage, which will letyou search the Michigan Compiled Statutes by keyword.
http://www.akti.org/ ---American Knife and Tool Institute, kind of like a tiny little NRA for knives. My God, I love America.
Posted On:4/11/2006 10:39pm
Well, ****. "Martial" and "Martial arts weapon" turned up nothing in the MCS, nor did "nunchaku." But "weapon" brought up this, among others:
THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931
750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.
(1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.
(2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license.
(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.
Notice how lack of intent to harm someone doesn't save you in this version? Not good. Lawyer for sure.
Posted On:4/11/2006 10:41pm
Let's make this clear--what are we talking about? An actual knife, metal blade, that is of low quality and has a very dull edge? Or a plastic or wooden replica? I don't think you're ever going to convince a judge or jury that a knife ceases to be a weapon because it's dull.
Posted On:4/11/2006 10:42pm
You gotta know what code section he's charged under to even know where to begin to look.
What else did you get charged with?
Posted On:4/11/2006 10:44pm
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
I don't think you're ever going to convince a judge or jury that a knife ceases to be a weapon because it's dull.
It will certainly go towards the intent aspect of the offense. I would argue it.
Posted On:4/12/2006 8:02am
Just to clear some things up, because people seem interested...I got pulled over for having expired tags, and not having a Drivers License. Very Stupid I know and I am paying for right now...
After which I made the mistake when asked "mind if I look in your car" replying yes...(never have been in any trouble with the law before to know better, my friends laughed at me though when I told them this part...)
In regards to the blade being dull. I am not sure if I explained it well the first time or not, but it has nothing to do with the blade being dull, and it might be a semantics argument, but there was never an edge put on the blade. I don't know how else to explain it. Except to say that the actual "edge" is rounded.
I will try and draw what the edge looks like from a head on perspective.
I have a Lawyer right now; she is a friend of the Family. I am trying to be as pro active on this as possible, and trying to get as much information, and help from every angle that this point.
The other question I am really interested in is if anyone knows anything about the law in Japan where it is illegal to owning a sword or edged weapon... is this fantasy or is there some truth to it?
Last edited by justapix; 4/12/2006 9:02am at .
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