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Laws in California are very strict when concerning firearms and those weapons that have been addressed in California Penal Code § 417, § 417.25, § 417.26§ 417.27, and § 417.6. For those who do not want to carry firearms, brass knuckles, knives, mace, or other typical weapons, but want to legally protect themselves from assault, there can be alternate weapons.

Weapons charges lead from a misdemeanor with up to a year in county jail, or a felony charge with up to four years in state prison, depending on how the crime was committed. Yet, other weapons may be harder to qualify if someone feels the need to have something for protection. Go here to read more about California weapon offenses.

Weapons charges lead from a misdemeanor with up to a year in a county jail, or a felony charge with up to four years in state prison

The Hatpin

In earlier centuries, women with elaborate up-swept hairstyles wearing hats used hatpins to attach those hats to their hair pieces. Two or three of them secured the hat to the hairdo so that the hat did not blow away at the smallest gust of wind.

Along the way, women who found themselves in unsafe places and situations, figured out that pulling out a hairpin to use as a weapon, worked rather well in deterring those men with less than honorable intentions, from getting any closer.

The hatpin, however, would unlikely have stopped Jack the Ripper. In California, if you damage an organ, such as an eye, while trying to save your life, you will need the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Talk to your attorney first before answering any questions.

After surviving an attack, keep the DNA intact on the item you used to save yourself. You can read more about the history of the hatpin here.

The Ballpoint Pen

Regular metal-framed ballpoint pens, as opposed to more fragile plastic-framed pens, are thinner than others and may be useful if carried in the hand while walking to a parking lot at night.

While a simple ballpoint pen is not considered an intrusive weapon, with enough force behind it and using the pointy end on a soft body area, it could do enough painful damage to stop the attack and get away. Do not use a tactical-styled pen in California as that may earn prison time. You may need to call a criminal defense attorney for help.

Car Keys

Everyone carries car keys, so it is normal to have these at hand. For added security, buy a brass whistle to carry on a ring with the car keys.  The brass whistle is for use in residential areas or other areas where people are likely to hear the sound, look out their windows and call the police when they see trouble happening.

Most keys have ridges on one or both sides. If the car key does not have ridges, the house key may have them. If an assault occurs, using the key edges to scratch up someone’s face, neck, or arms, may be enough of a deterrent to stop the attack and allow the victim to get away.

Protecting Yourself

Use enough force to get out of the situation and call the police. Your next call should be to a criminal defense attorney to ask for help, in case things go wrong. Call us at once if you have been a victim of assault but think you may have the situation turned on you. 619-234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks.

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