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MyraB, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in criminal law and civil litigation from pre-trial practice to appeal.
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My husband was driving his fathers car, who was a military

Customer Question

My husband was driving his fathers car, who was a military person that had a military police baton in the locked glove box and got arrested. What would be the natural defense for this? He has never been arrested. Same high finance job for 30 years, what would you say typically happens now? I bailed him out but he still has his court date for having this baton n his locked glove box of his dads car. Now, police were dispatched because he was parked and having coffee in parking lot outside his car next door from where we have been staying (waiting for mother in law to head out to use her parking spot- approximately 10 minutes or so) police showed up and asked ,"what are you doing looking over the fence?" He explained he was waiting for mother in law and me his wife, to leave. The police then came to the door where I was there to confirm that he was my husband and we were staying here which we are and no restraining orders , which there is none. After I confined everything checked out he then went to the car and asked to search(he never asked if the car was registered as his own car) at which my husband agreed for him to do. Police found a collapsible military police baton that his father kept locked in the glove box n his car. My husbands father was a major marine corp vet who's carried job duties as provost martial of Tustin military base, it is legal my husband says for his father to have this. My husband never went in locked glove box so just had no clue really what it even was let Aline it was there. What is your take on how to possibly proceed with this? Any advice or direction will be so helpful and appreciated! What will happen next? How devastating will this affect my husband being a financial securities advisor , felonies affect his licensure! What would the maximum penalty be in this situation ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  MyraB replied 3 years ago.
Hi. It will be my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Please let me know the specific crime he is charged with (including the statute, if possible).

Generally, any crime involving possession requires knowledge of the object unlawfully possessed and the ability to exercise control of the object. Without knowledge and the ability to exercise control then a charge of possession cannot be supported. So, to prove a charge of possession in the circumstances you describe, the prosecutor would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your husband knew the baton was in the glove compartment and he had the ability to exercise control of it. When you say the glove box was locked, was it locked such that it needed a key to be opened, or was it just shut?

After I receive the additional information I can address all your questions.
Expert:  MyraB replied 3 years ago.



I believe your husband was charged under Cal. Pen Code, sec. 22210. If this is not the correct charge, please let me know. Under that section possession of a billy is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 (meaning the crime is punishable by 16 months, or two or three years in the county jail). Section 1170(h)(4) retains alternative sentencing options, including pretrial diversion, deferred entry of judgment, or an order granting probation.

The prosecutor has discretion to charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history.



What would be the natural defense for this?


As I stated in my original response possession requires knowledge and the ability to exercise control. If the glove box is unlocked but shut, there may be enough to exercise control, though the circumstance that it is your father’s car and your husband was driving it only for a short time supports that he did not own the baton and he would not have had the ability to control the baton, he had no authority over it. Likewise, the circumstances also don’t support that he had knowledge that it was there.

What happens next?

He will appear at the next court date to enter a plea. You will likely want to retain an attorney prior to the court date, or enter a plea of not guilty and get another court date so that you have the opportunity to consult with an attorney. There are several things that you mention in your question that raise issues regarding a possible motion to suppress evidence resulting from the search. The detention seems to have gone on longer than was reasonable under the circumstances such that the consent to the search may not have been valid and the items seized would be subject to suppression. An attorney will be able to evaluate such issues after he has spoken to you and obtained the police report. He can then give you specific advice based on the unique circumstances of your husband’s case.

Can it affect licensure and how?

Here is the SEC information on Statutory Disqualification and the process for seeking approval, which would be particularly applicable where the crime is unrelated to the securities industry.

Also, keep in mind that your husband is a long way from a felony conviction at this point. There are options for challenging the charge and, failing that, bargaining to reduce the charge and minimize any impact on his ability to work and continue in his profession. Let your attorney know of your concern so that he will take it into account when advising you as to the best disposition of the case.

I hope this response addresses all your concerns at this point. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.

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