Section 55 Crimes Act 1900 | Possess Explosives with Intent


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With the recent crackdown on terrorism, police and courts have adopted a hardline approach to the manufacture of explosives or other objects which could cause injury to other persons.

Section 55 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘possessing or making explosives or other things with intent to injure.’

This section says that it is a criminal offence to make any form of explosive substance, any dangerous or noxious thing, or a machine, engine or instrument, where you intended to use the object or explosive to injure another person or commit a serious indictable offence.

You could also face charges under this section if you made or possessed the object to allow another person to commit a serious indictable offence or cause injury to other persons.

A serious indictable offence is one which carries a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more – for example, assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

There is no requirement for the explosives or other objects to actually be used or cause injury to other persons – you could still face charges under this section so long as they are found in your possession without a reasonable excuse.

If you are found guilty under section 55, you could face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

While this penalty may seem excessive, it’s important to bear in mind that it is the absolute maximum that can apply for this offence – hence it will only apply in the most serious cases.

The Legislation

Section 55 of the Crimes Act deals with the offence of “possessing or making explosives or other things with intent to injure” and reads as follows:

55 Possessing or making explosives or other things with intent to injure

Whosoever knowingly has in his or her possession, or makes, or manufactures, any gunpowder, explosive substance, or dangerous or noxious thing, or any machine, engine, instrument, or thing:

(a) with intent by means thereof to injure, or otherwise commit a serious indictable offence against the person of any one, or

(b) for the purpose of enabling another person to injure, or otherwise commit a serious indictable offence against the person of any one,

shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

If you’ve been charged with an explosives offence, our team of highly experienced criminal law specialists can help you fight the charges to avoid a conviction.

We have considerable experience representing clients in weapons and explosives matters and our clients benefit from our thorough knowledge of the law in this area.

Unlike other law firms who may urge you to fight the matter in court, we always attempt to have matters resolved outside of court by finding problems with the prosecution evidence and pushing to have the charges dropped on this basis.

In some cases, you may simply wish to accept the allegations against you and plead guilty early on in the proceedings.

In these situations, our highly skilled lawyers will work hard to secure you the most lenient penalty possible by raising any mitigating factors at your sentencing hearing, which will reduce the seriousness of your offending.

We will also push to have the matter dealt with in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is only 2 years’ imprisonment.

If you’re hoping to get a good result in your explosives case, get the experts on your side today. Call us on (02) 9261 8881 to book your FREE first conference to discuss your matter with us today.