In re Luke W., A090906.

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtJones
Citation88 Cal.App.4th 650,105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905
PartiesIn re LUKE W., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. The People, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Luke W., Defendant and Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. A090906.,A090906.
Decision Date23 April 2001
105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905
88 Cal.App.4th 650
In re LUKE W., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law.
The People, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Luke W., Defendant and Appellant.
No. A090906.
Court of Appeal, First District, Division 5.
April 23, 2001.

[105 Cal.Rptr.2d 906]

[88 Cal.App.4th 651]

Joseph Shipp, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, Sebastapol, for defendant and appellant.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, David P. Druliner, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Ronald A. Bass, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Catherine A. Rivlin, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Michael E. Banister, Deputy Attorney General, for plaintiff and respondent.

[88 Cal.App.4th 652]

JONES, P.J.


Luke W. appeals from an order sustaining a supplemental petition (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602) that alleged he possessed a concealed dirk or dagger. (Pen.Code, § 12020, subd. (a).) He contends the knife found in his possession is not a statutorily prohibited dirk or dagger.

BACKGROUND

Appellant was declared a ward of the juvenile court and placed on probation under home supervision after the court sustained a petition alleging he possessed marijuana for sale and possessed psilocybin.

Four months later Lafayette Police Officer Dan Hoffman saw appellant walking in the company of a man Hoffman knew to be on parole. Hoffman knew appellant and knew he was on probation and subject to a search condition. He stopped appellant and asked if he possessed any illegal substances or weapons. Appellant replied he did not. Hoffman searched appellant and found a small, rectangular object in appellant's pocket.1 It resembled a thick credit card and contained knobs and grips. When Hoffman pulled on one of the grips, a knife "came out."

Hoffman asked appellant why he was carrying the object. Appellant replied, "Well, you never know what can happen; it's for my protection."

Appellant disputed telling Hoffman he carried the object for protection. According to appellant's testimony, Hoffman initiated the subject by asking him, "Are you using that for protection?" Appellant replied, "Well, yes, I guess you could use it for protection."

DISCUSSION

Appellant contends the device seized by Officer Hoffman was not a statutorily proscribed "dirk or dagger."

The supplemental petition alleged that appellant violated Penal Code section 12020, subdivision (a),2 which forbids, inter alia, carrying "any dirk or dagger" concealed on one's person. (§ 12020, subd. (a)(4).)

The definition of "dirk or dagger" as used in section 12020 has been the subject of frequent legislative attention in the last decade. (See People v.

88 Cal.App.4th 653

Rubalcava (2000) 23 Cal.4th 322, 328-332, 96 Cal. Rptr.2d 735, 1 P.3d 52; In re George W. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1208, 1212-1214, 80

105 Cal.Rptr.2d 907

Cal.Rptr.2d 868 (George W.)) In 1993 section 12020 was amended to define "dirk or dagger" as "a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is primarily designed, constructed, or altered to be a stabbing instrument designed to inflict great bodily injury or death." (Stats. 1993, ch. 357, § 1.)

In 1995 "dirk or dagger" was redefined as "a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death." (Stats.1995, ch. 128, § 2.)

In 1996 Assemblymember Diane Martinez, the author of the 1995 legislation, published a letter in the Assembly Journal expressing concern that the broad definition of dirk or dagger in the 1995 statute had the unanticipated result of including folding knives and pocketknives. (George W., supra, 68 Cal.App.4th at p. 1213, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) She wrote that the California District Attorneys Association, which sponsored the 1995 legislation, "sought to eliminate the `primarily designed' language [of the 1993 statute] which had given rise to prosecutorial problems and to substitute language aimed at preventing surprise knife attacks by prohibiting the carrying of concealed knives that are particularly suited for stabbing and that are readily accessible to the user.

"According to a police training video prepared by the [district attorney] who drafted the `capable of ready use' language [in the 1995 statute], folding knives are not 'dirk or daggers,' unless they are carried in an open and locked position. This is due to the fact that, when folded, they are not `capable of ready use' without a number of intervening machinations that give the intended victim time to anticipate and/or prevent an attack.

"Thus, the definition of `dirk or dagger' [in the 1995 statute sponsored by Assembly member Martinez] was not intended to prohibit folding knives. I believe this is consistent with the intent of the Legislature." (George W., supra, 68 Cal.App.4th at p. 1213, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868, internal quotation marks omitted.)

In 1997 an amendment to section 12020 was introduced to enact the definition intended in the 1995 statute and to alleviate concerns of hunting knife manufacturers and sportsmen. The purpose of the amendment was "to expressly exclude from the definition of `dirk or dagger' folding knives and pocket knives, which are not switchblades, and which are carried in a closed, secured state. Under the proposed amendment folding knives and pocket knives could only fit the definition of `dirk or dagger,' that is, of `being

88 Cal.App.4th 654

capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death,' if `the blade of the knife is exposed and locked into position.'" (George W., supra, 68 Cal.App.4th at p. 1213, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) A report to the Assembly Committee on Public Safety explained that the proposed amendment was an attempt to codify Assembly member Martinez's 1996 letter. (George W., supra, at p. 1214, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.)

Under the 1997 amendment, which controls the present case, "dirk or dagger" is defined as "a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death. A nonlocking folding knife, a folding knife that is not prohibited by Section 653k [i.e, a switchblade], or a pocketknife is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great...

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48 practice notes
  • San Francisco Human Servs. Agency v. Felicia C. (In re M.C.), A129528.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 2011
    ...general purpose of the statute, and it must avoid an interpretation leading to absurd consequences. [Citation.]" (In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 655, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905.)Section 331 provides: "When any person has applied to the social worker, pursuant to Section 329, to commence ......
  • People v. Mitchell, D059254.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 2012
    ...from the waist, and (2) a nonswitchblade folding or pocketknife if the blade is not exposed and locked. (See In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 653, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905; In re George W. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1208, 1213–1215, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) The Legislature's purpose in enacting t......
  • Nguyen v. W. Digital Corp., H038934
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 2014
    ...general purpose of the statute, and it must avoid an interpretation leading to absurd consequences. [Citation.]” (In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 655, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905.) Unlike section 340.4, which expressly states that section 352 tolling for minority and insanity does not appl......
  • People v. Mitchell, D059254.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 2012
    ...from the waist, and (2) a nonswitchblade folding or pocketknife if the blade is not exposed and locked. (See In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 653, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905;In re George W. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1208, 1213–1215, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) The Legislature's purpose in enacting th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
48 cases
  • San Francisco Human Servs. Agency v. Felicia C. (In re M.C.)
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 29, 2011
    ...general purpose of the statute, and it must avoid an interpretation leading to absurd consequences. [Citation.]" (In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 655, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905.)Section 331 provides: "When any person has applied to the social worker, pursuant to Section 329, to commence ......
  • People v. Mitchell, D059254.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 2012
    ...from the waist, and (2) a nonswitchblade folding or pocketknife if the blade is not exposed and locked. (See In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 653, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905; In re George W. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1208, 1213–1215, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) The Legislature's purpose in enacting t......
  • Nguyen v. W. Digital Corp.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 2014
    ...general purpose of the statute, and it must avoid an interpretation leading to absurd consequences. [Citation.]” (In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 655, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905.) Unlike section 340.4, which expressly states that section 352 tolling for minority and insanity does not appl......
  • People v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 2012
    ...from the waist, and (2) a nonswitchblade folding or pocketknife if the blade is not exposed and locked. (See In re Luke W. (2001) 88 Cal.App.4th 650, 653, 105 Cal.Rptr.2d 905;In re George W. (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 1208, 1213–1215, 80 Cal.Rptr.2d 868.) The Legislature's purpose in enacting th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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