Can I Be Convicted of a Weapons Charge if I Carry a Knife?

Due to Tennessee’s vague legislative language, it can be difficult to understand exactly what type of weapon will get you convicted of a weapons charge.

As of 2013, it is legal to own any type of knife, including:

  1. throwing stars;
  2. daggers;
  3. dirks;
  4. swords;
  5. sword canes; and
  6. machetes.

Concealed Weapon Charge

There are generally no prohibited knives under statute laws, but you may still be convicted if you are concealing a knife with the intent of using it against another person. Tennessee law focuses on the intent to commit a crime rather than on whether or not the the knife is concealed.

You could get a deadly weapon charge if you:

  1. commit an offense with a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, with the intent of employing it during an attempt to commit a dangerous crime or escape from the scene of a dangerous crime; or
  2. commit an offense with a deadly weapon with the intent of employing it during an attempt to commit a non-dangerous crime or escape from the scene of a non-dangerous crime.

It’s important to note that a dangerous crime is a felony such as murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, stalking, burglary, or drug offenses. While a switchblade is legal in Tennessee, it’s important to note that if you possess a switchblade during the commission of a dangerous crime you are subject to a hefty fine or a more severe sentence.

Carrying a Knife onto School Property

It’s considered a crime for any person to possess and/or carry a knife (open or concealed) onto school property if it is not being used for the sole purpose of instruction or school-sanctioned ceremonial reasons.

School property consists of:

  1. buildings;
  2. buses;
  3. campus grounds;
  4. recreation areas; and
  5. athletic fields.

If you are found carrying a knife on school grounds, you could face a felony conviction with penalties of up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.

Patton | Pittman Can Help You

Our primary goal in a weapon-related case is to prove fault in the law and help you get your weapon back. If you have been arrested for a knife-related crime, reach out to our criminal defense lawyers today.

Contact our firm online or give us a call at (931) 361-4477 for a FREE case evaluation.

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