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. http://www.sec-oig.gov/Reports/AuditsInspections/2003/363fin.htm
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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