Weapons & Firearms Offences


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Firearms & Weapons Offences have received much publicity in recent times and are treated seriously by the courts.

It is therefore vital to secure representation from Accredited Criminal Lawyers who are Experienced and Respected in Defending Firearms & Weapons cases.

Click on the appropriate link below for more information about your particular charge and how Sydney Criminal Lawyers can help you.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers

The Lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers have successfully represented clients charged with ‘weapons’ and ‘firearms’ offences for many years.

We are always up-to-date with changes in the law and have a proven track record in obtaining outstanding results in these cases.

We will advise you of any available defences and – if you plead ‘not guilty’ – we will work hard to have the charges withdrawn by police or dismissed in Court.

If you wish to plead ‘guilty’, we will thoroughly prepare and persuasively present your ‘sentencing’ so that you receive the lowest possible penalty; including ‘section 10’ where applicable (no criminal conviction).

We can protect your rights by disputing any decision by the Commissioner of Police to refuse or revoke your firearms licence.

If the Commissioner does not agree to issue or reinstate your licence, we can argue your case in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.

With Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you are represented by the most knowledgeable, respected and effective firearms and weapons defence lawyers.

Firearms Licences

Unauthorised Possession or Use of Firearms – s7A Firearms Act

The law states that unless you hold a firearms permit, you are not allowed to possess or use a firearm.

If you are caught with a firearm in your possession and you do not have a permit, you could face heavy penalties. Being charged with a firearms offence may also impact your ability to work and travel.

However, you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges by engaging Sydney’s best criminal lawyers, who will fight hard to ensure that the offence has a minimal impact on your life.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of possessing an unlicenced firearm, the prosecution must prove two factors (known as elements) beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:

  • That you possessed a firearm
  • That you did not hold an appropriate firearms licence

If you are charged with using an unlicenced firearm, the prosecution also has to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you used a firearm
  • That the way in which you the firearm was not for a genuine purpose or reason OR that it contravened the terms and conditions of your firearms licence

Unless the prosecution can prove the relevant elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of this offence.

This means that if you believe that you had an appropriate licence, or where you feel that you had some other reason to justify the use or possession of the firearm, you may consider pleading ‘not guilty’ to the offence.

Our highly experienced firearms lawyers can then help you fight the charges in court before a magistrate, who will listen to all the evidence before determining your guilt.

As Sydney’s firearms experts, you can trust our Accredited Criminal Law Specialists to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

We can also advise you of any defences to the charges, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing or using the firearm (duress)
  • Where the use or possession of the firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you used or possessed the firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Our skilled criminal lawyers have experience fighting and winning firearms cases and will be in the best position to advise you of your options, and whether or not you should plead ‘not guilty.’

Pleading Guilty

Sometimes, you may want to accept the allegations against you and enter a plea of guilty as soon as possible.

This will spare you the time and expense of a hearing, and it will most likely result in a more favourable outcome than if you had been found guilty by the court.

However, before entering a plea of guilty, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer with a sound track record of fighting firearms cases, because there may be a possibility that you can successfully fight the charges to secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

If you want to plead guilty to the charges, you should be aware of the maximum penalties that may apply.

Most of these matters are heard in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty for possessing or using an unlicenced firearm is two years imprisonment.

However, if the prosecution decides to have the matter dealt with in the District Court, you could face a harsher maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.

It is important to note that these are maximum  penalties only, and will only apply in the most serious cases. In fact, the court is only able to use imprisonment as a last resort.

Our highly experienced criminal defence team can assist you in getting the best possible penalty, by presenting the facts and circumstances of your case in the most favourable light and persuading the magistrate to deal with the offence leniently.

We have a proven track record of getting excellent results in firearms matters, and in many cases, we have been able to obtain ‘section 10s’ for our clients.

A ‘section 10’ means that you are found guilty of the offence but you do not receive a criminal record – which means that your ability to work and travel will not be affected.

The magistrate can impose a wide range of penalties, including:

Statistics show that the most commonly imposed penalty for the possession or use of an unlicenced firearm is a fine.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

If you’ve been charged with a firearms offence, you may be worried about the impact that it may have on your life – for example, how your ability to work and travel will be affected.

But you can ease some of those concerns by getting Sydney’s best criminal lawyers on your side, who will advise you of your options and fight hard to win your case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, our dedicated legal experts have years of experience successfully defending clients in these types of firearms cases.

In every case, we seek to have the charges dropped before you end up in court, sparing you the time and stress involved in a hearing. We do this by dedicating the time and effort to thoroughly scrutinise all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case, then writing to police highlighting these issues and asking for the charges to be dropped.

Where the police refuse to drop the charges, we will work hard to change the facts of the case so that your matter is presented in the most favourable light.

If necessary, our highly respected advocates can represent you in court and will present compelling arguments persuasively to increase your chances of being found ‘not guilty.’

We may also be able to have damages awarded to you by proving that the allegations against you were false.

If you wish to plead guilty to the charges, we will fight hard to secure you a section 10 – where you are found guilty of the offence, but no conviction is recorded on your criminal history – so that your ability to work and travel is not severely impacted.

So for the best possible defence in your firearms case, call the experts today on
(02) 9261 8881 to arrange your first FREE conference
.

Unauthorised Possession or Use of Prohibited Firearms – s7 Firearms Act

The offence of ‘unauthorised possession or use of prohibited firearm’ is very similar to the offence of ‘possess or use unlicensed firearm,’ however it differs in that it relates to a prohibited firearm, rather than just firearms generally.

These types of firearms are usually seen to be more dangerous – because of this, the maximum penalty that applies for this offence is significantly higher than that which applies for ‘possess or use unlicensed firearm.’

Although the prospect of facing onerous penalties for possessing or using a prohibited firearm may be alarming and upsetting, the expert team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers has years of experience defending and winning these types of cases, so you can rest assured that your future is in safe hands.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of possessing or using a prohibited firearm, the prosecution needs to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you used or possessed a pistol or a prohibited firearm
  • That you did not have a valid permit or license to use or possess that firearm

If the prosecution is unable to prove both of these factors beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of the offence.

This means that, in situations where you believe that you did not use or possess a prohibited firearm, or where you had a valid permit or license for the firearm, you may want to consider pleading ‘not guilty’ and fighting the matter in court.

If you go to court, you will be able to share your side of the story with the court to establish your innocence.

You may also wish to raise a defence to explain or justify your actions, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing or using the prohibited firearm (duress)
  • Where the use or possession of the prohibited firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you used or possessed the prohibited firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

If you wish to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges, it’s important to get a good criminal lawyer on your side who has a proven track record of fighting and winning these types of cases. An experienced criminal lawyer will ensure that you get constructive and accurate advice and representation that will help you win your prohibited firearms case.

Pleading Guilty

If you are willing to accept the allegations against you, you might want to plead guilty at an early stage.

Pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings can lead to a better outcome, as it will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions, which may induce them to give you a more lenient penalty.

If you plead guilty at an early stage, you will also be spared the time and expense of a trial or defended hearing, which can be costly and time-consuming.

However, before pleading guilty, you should speak to a knowledgeable and experienced criminal lawyer, because there may be some way in which you can fight the charges and be found ‘not guilty.’

If you’re considering pleading guilty to the charges, you should also be aware of the maximum penalties that you could face.

Generally, your matter will be dealt with in the Local Court before a magistrate, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

But if the prosecution chooses to have the matter dealt with in the District Court in front of a judge, you could face a much harsher penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.

It is therefore important to make sure that your lawyer has considerable experience dealing with these types of matters, as a good criminal lawyer will fight to make sure that your matter stays in the Local Court.

At the end of the day, the type of penalty that you will receive depends on the facts and circumstances of your case – such as the number of weapons, the types of weapons, your criminal record, and so on.

The court is able to impose a wide range of penalties – these include:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It can be overwhelming and distressing being charged with a firearms offence, particularly where the law prescribes harsh maximum penalties.

However, you can give yourself the best possible defence to the charges by engaging Sydney’s most experienced criminal lawyers, who will fight hard for you every step of the way to ensure that you get a positive outcome in your prohibited weapons case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we know how important your freedom is – and we also know how stressful and time-consuming it can be to go to court.

That’s why our expert lawyers always push hard to have matters dropped before they end up in court, by meticulously examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case.

We then write letters to the police highlighting these problems and persuading the prosecution to drop the charges, or downgrade the charges to a less serious offence, such as possessing or using a firearm without a valid license, which carries a lower maximum penalty.

Even if your matter does end up in court, you can trust our experienced and highly-respected advocates to put forth your case in the most positive light to secure you a positive outcome.

We always fight to ensure that matters stay in the Local Court, where the maximum penalties are much lighter.

So don’t waste your time and money speaking to inexperienced lawyers – call us now on
(02) 9261 8881 to book in a FREE first appointment
to discuss how we can help you win your firearms case.

More Information

What does the prosecution need to prove?

To be found guilty of ‘unauthorised possession or use of a prohibited firearm,’ the  prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are unable to prove these two elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’:

That you used or possessed a pistol or a prohibited firearm

See below for a comprehensive list of ‘prohibited firearms.’

That you did not have a valid permit or license to use or possess that firearm

The prosecution must also prove that you did not have a valid firearms license, or that the license that you held was not valid for possessing the particular firearm that you had at the time of the offence.

What is a prohibited firearm?

1.Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.
2.Any self-loading rimfire rifle
3.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle
4.Any self-loading or pump action shotgun
5.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.
6.Any self-loading shotgun of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.
7.Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance (regardless of calibre or manner of operation) a firearm referred to in item 1, 5 or 6.
8.A firearm, not being a pistol, of the Uberti or Armi-Jager brands, or any similar firearm fitted with a revolving ammunition cylinder (other than a firearm manufactured before 1920).
9.A shotgun fitted with or designed to be fitted with a drum magazine of the “Striker 12” assault shotgun type or any similar weapon.
10.Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.
11.A firearm, not being a pistol, fitted with a stock that is specially designed so as to be readily detachable, or to operate on a swivel, folding or telescopic basis.
12.A firearm made up in the form of a stylographic or propelling pen or pencil, capable of being used for the discharge of gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares.
13.A firearm capable of discharging by any means:
a)Any irritant matter in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, or
b)Any pyrotechnic flare or dye, or
c)Any article known as a “paint-ball”.
14.A firearm that:
a)Substantially duplicates in appearance some other article (such as a walking stick, walking cane or key ring), and
b)Disguises or conceals the fact that it is a firearm.
15.A cannon or other weapon by whatever name known of a type which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore in excess of 10 gauge, not being a firearm of the Very or rocket type designed and intended for use for life saving or distress signalling purposes, an antique muzzle loading firearm, or a rifle or shotgun manufactured before 1920.
16.Any firearm which, or part of which, has a dimension less than the minimum dimension prescribed for the firearm or part by the regulations.
18.Any device known as a “powerhead” that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and that is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive.

Unregistered Firearms – s36 Firearms Act

If you purchase, sell or own a firearm, the law says that you must register it with the Firearms Registry that is run by the NSW Police.

If you are caught selling, buying or possessing a firearm that has not been registered, you could face onerous penalties that could have a negative impact on your life, affecting your ability to carry out your work duties and travel overseas.

However, with the help and assistance of the expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you can fight the charges to secure a positive outcome in your unregistered firearms case – leaving you free to work and travel as you please.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of buying, selling or possessing an unregistered firearm, the prosecution has to prove several factors (elements).

If they are unable to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found ‘not guilty:’

  • That you sold, bought or possessed a firearm
  • That the firearm was not registered with the Firearms Registry run by the NSW Police Force

If you feel that the prosecution will not be able to make out these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should discuss the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ with our highly experienced firearms lawyers.

As Sydney’s leading firearms experts, we have considerable experience fighting firearms cases to obtain the best results for our clients – as demonstrated by our proven track record of winning these types of cases.

Our skilled lawyers will be able to advise you whether you have grounds to fight the charges – for example, where you did not know that the firearm was unregistered, or where you didn’t own the firearm at the time of the offence.

If necessary, we can give you the best possible representation in court by fighting hard to dispute the prosecution allegations and raising all evidence to support your case.

We can also advise if you are able to raise any other defence to explain or justify your actions, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing or using the unregistered firearm (duress)
  • Where the use or possession of the unregistered firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you used or possessed the unregistered firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you were unaware that the firearm had to be registered (honest and reasonable mistake of fact)

It’s important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer if you have been charged with an unregistered firearms offence, because this charge has the potential to significantly affect your life and future.

Pleading Guilty

If you don’t want to fight the charges, you may wish to enter a plea of guilty to the charges.

Often, pleading guilty at an early stage can be beneficial as it will save you the costs involved in having the matter heard in court, and it will also ensure that the matter is dealt with quickly.

It may also mean that you end up with a less harsh penalty, as an early guilt plea will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

However, before you plead guilty, you should speak to a lawyer with considerable experience in dealing with firearms offences, as there may be some way in which you can fight the charges and be found ‘not guilty.’

If you’re thinking about pleading guilty, it’s important to know the maximum penalties that could apply.

Generally, unregistered firearms cases will be dealt with in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

However, if the prosecution chooses to have the matter dealt with by the District Court, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment if the firearm is a prohibited firearm or pistol, and 5 years imprisonment for all other firearms.

You will find a list of ‘prohibited firearms’ in the More Information section at the bottom of this page.

It is important to remember that the penalties discussed above are maximum penalties only, so they will only apply in the most serious cases. The penalty imposed will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case.

Even if you simply wish to plead guilty, it’s important to ensure that you are being represented by a highly experienced and reputable lawyer as the right legal team can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding these harsh maximum penalties.

Our capable defence team can help you obtain the best possible result in your matter by presenting the facts and circumstances of your case in a positive light and persuading the magistrate to deal with the matter leniently by imposing an alternative penalty, for example:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with an unregistered firearm offence can be incredibly frustrating, particularly when it affects other areas of your life, such as your ability to work, travel and pursue your hobbies.

However, with the help of Sydney’s best criminal lawyers, you can defend the charges to secure a favourable outcome, leaving you free to get on with your life.

The experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers have experience defending clients in countless unregistered firearms cases, and we pride ourselves on our ability to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients in every case – sometimes without even having to go to court!

Our hardworking lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case. If any issues are found, we will write to the police explaining the problems and asking for the charges to be dropped, saving you the inconvenience of fighting the matter in court.

Even where the police refuse to withdraw the case, our dedicated experts will pursue the best possible outcome by raising any possible defences in court – for example, by presenting evidence to show that you did not know that the firearm was unregistered.

If you choose to plead guilty to the charges, you can count on us to ensure that you get the best possible result in your unregistered firearms matter, by persuasively presenting your case in the most positive light.

In many cases, our skilled lawyers have been able to secure ‘section 10s’ for our clients – where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded.

So, for the best possible defence in your unregistered firearms case, call us today on
(02) 9261 8881 to arrange a FREE first consultation
with our criminal law experts.

More Information

What is a ‘prohibited firearm’?

The law says that there are 17 different types of prohibited firearms. These are:

1.Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

2.Any self-loading rimfire rifle

3.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle

4.Any self-loading or pump action shotgun

5.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

6.Any self-loading shotgun of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

7.Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance (regardless of calibre or manner of operation) a firearm referred to in item 1, 5 or 6.

8.A firearm, not being a pistol, of the Uberti or Armi-Jager brands, or any similar firearm fitted with a revolving ammunition cylinder (other than a firearm manufactured before 1920).

9.A shotgun fitted with or designed to be fitted with a drum magazine of the “Striker 12” assault shotgun type or any similar weapon.

10.Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.

11.A firearm, not being a pistol, fitted with a stock that is specially designed so as to be readily detachable, or to operate on a swivel, folding or telescopic basis.

12.A firearm made up in the form of a stylographic or propelling pen or pencil, capable of being used for the discharge of gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares.

13.A firearm capable of discharging by any means:
a)Any irritant matter in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, or
b)Any pyrotechnic flare or dye, or
c)Any article known as a “paint-ball”.

14.A firearm that:
a)Substantially duplicates in appearance some other article (such as a walking stick, walking cane or key ring), and
b)Disguises or conceals the fact that it is a firearm.

15.A cannon or other weapon by whatever name known of a type which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore in excess of 10 gauge, not being a firearm of the Very or rocket type designed and intended for use for life saving or distress signalling purposes, an antique muzzle loading firearm, or a rifle or shotgun manufactured before 1920.

16.Any firearm which, or part of which, has a dimension less than the minimum dimension prescribed for the firearm or part by the regulations.

18.Any device known as a “powerhead” that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and that is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive.

Safe Keeping of Firearms – s39, 40 & 41 Firearms Act

The law says that if you have a firearm, you must take responsibility to ensure that it is kept safe and that it does not get stolen or lost, and that no unauthorised persons come into possession of the firearm.

If you fail to comply with these conditions, you could face harsh penalties under the law, which could have a negative impact on your life, as well as your ability to carry out your work duties and your hobbies.

However, in these bleak situations, you can benefit from the knowledge and experience of our expert criminal lawyers, who will use their in-depth knowledge of firearms law to secure a positive outcome in your case.

Your Options

Pleading Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of failing to keep your firearms safe, the prosecution has to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt.

The types of things that they have to prove depend largely on the type of firearms licence that you hold:

Type of licence

You may be found guilty if do ANY of the following things:

Category A or B
  • Where you fail to store or lock the firearm in an approved hard wood or steel receptacle while they are not in use or being carried;
  • Where the receptacle weighs less than 150 kilograms when empty and you fail to fix it in order to prevent its easy removal;
  • Where you fail to store any ammunition for the firearm in an approved locked container that is separate from the receptacle containing the firearm;
  • Where you fail to comply with any other conditions relating to the security and safe storage of the firearm and ammunition as required by the regulations.
Category C, D or H
  • Where you fail to store or lock the firearm in an approved steel safe when it is not being used or carried;
  • Where you fail to bolt the steel safe to the structure of the premises where the firearm is authorised to be kept;
  • Where you fail to lock any ammunition for the firearm in an approved separate container to the one containing the firearm;
  • Where you fail to comply with any other conditions relating to the security and safe storage of the firearm and ammunition as required by the regulations.

If you feel that all of the required conditions have been complied with, OR where you believe that you can prove that the alternative storage arrangements that were made were of an equal or higher standard than those required by the law, you should speak to our firearms law experts about how to fight the charges.

As Sydney’s leading firearms lawyers, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to secure the best possible outcome in your safekeeping of firearms case.

We can push to have the charges dropped at an early stage by raising problems with the prosecution evidence, or alternatively by raising evidence that supports your side of the story.

If the matter ends up in court, you can rest assured that our highly respected advocates will fight hard to win your case by presenting all evidence in a compelling manner and examining all witnesses.

Our knowledgeable experts can also advise whether you can raise a defence to the charges, for example:

  • Where you honestly but mistakenly believed that you had complied with all the conditions prescribed by the law honest and reasonable mistake of fact
  • Where you were coerced or threatened into failing to comply with the required conditions (duress)
  • Where you failed to comply with the necessary safe-keeping conditions to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you failed to comply with the necessary safe-keeping requirements to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you had made alternative storage arrangements to an equal or higher standard than that prescribed.
Our highly experienced firearms lawyers can also help you prove to the Commissioner that you made alternative storage arrangements to an equal or higher standard than that prescribed, which can help you obtain a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

Pleading Guilty

Alternatively, you may wish to accept the charges against you and plead guilty to the offence.

Sometimes, it is a good idea to plead guilty to the offence at an early stage in the proceedings, because it will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

Because of this, the magistrate or judge may give you a lesser penalty – this is known as a ‘discount’ on your sentence.

You will also be spared the time and expense involved in a hearing or a criminal trial if you choose to plead guilty at an early stage.

However, you should always speak to an experienced criminal lawyer before making any admissions or entering a plea of guilty, as there may be some way in which you can fight the charges – for example, by raising a defence.

If you’re considering pleading guilty, you should always familiarise yourself with the maximum penalties that could apply in your case.

Your case will be heard in the Local Court in front of a magistrate. The maximum penalties depend on the type of firearm that you have:

  • If you are found guilty of failing to keep a pistol or prohibited firearm safe, you could face a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.
  • For all other firearms, the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and/or a $2,200 fine.

However, it is important to bear in mind that these are maximum penalties, which means that they will only apply in the most serious cases.  Courts will only ever impose a period of imprisonment as a last resort.

The type of penalty that you will receive in your case will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case – for example, the seriousness of the safekeeping breach, and how many firearms were not being kept safe.

The court can impose a wide range of alternative penalties, including:

You can improve your chances of getting a favourable penalty by getting a good criminal lawyer on your side who has experience fighting these types of cases.

In fact, with the help of an experienced criminal lawyer, you may be able to avoid a conviction altogether by getting a ‘section 10,’ which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal history, which could otherwise impact your ability to work and travel.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with failing to keep your firearms safe can have a negative impact on your life, affecting your ability to wok or participate in leisure activities.

But you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges by getting the firearms experts from Sydney Criminal Lawyers on your side.

Our experienced lawyers have successfully defended numerous safekeeping of firearms cases and have a proven track record of obtaining outstanding outcomes in these types of cases. 

In every case, we thoroughly examine all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case. We then push to have the charges dropped at an early stage by writing to the prosecution and raising these issues. Often, this means that our clients do not have to go through the stress and expense of a hearing to determine their guilt.

Even if you wish to plead guilty, you can rest assured that you will get the best possible outcome. At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we specialise in getting our clients ‘section 10s,’ which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record, which minimises any disruption that could potentially be caused to your life.

So for the best possible legal representation in your safekeeping of firearms case, call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book a FREE first appointment to discuss your case.

More Information

What is a ‘prohibited firearm’?

The law says that there are 17 different types of prohibited firearms. These are:
1.Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

2.Any self-loading rimfire rifle

3.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle

4.Any self-loading or pump action shotgun

5.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

6.Any self-loading shotgun of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

7.Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance (regardless of calibre or manner of operation) a firearm referred to in item 1, 5 or 6.

8.A firearm, not being a pistol, of the Uberti or Armi-Jager brands, or any similar firearm fitted with a revolving ammunition cylinder (other than a firearm manufactured before 1920).

9.A shotgun fitted with or designed to be fitted with a drum magazine of the “Striker 12” assault shotgun type or any similar weapon.

10.Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.

11.A firearm, not being a pistol, fitted with a stock that is specially designed so as to be readily detachable, or to operate on a swivel, folding or telescopic basis.

12.A firearm made up in the form of a stylographic or propelling pen or pencil, capable of being used for the discharge of gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares.

13.A firearm capable of discharging by any means:
a)Any irritant matter in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, or
b)Any pyrotechnic flare or dye, or
c)Any article known as a “paint-ball”.

14.A firearm that:
a)Substantially duplicates in appearance some other article (such as a walking stick, walking cane or key ring), and
b)Disguises or conceals the fact that it is a firearm.

15.A cannon or other weapon by whatever name known of a type which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore in excess of 10 gauge, not being a firearm of the Very or rocket type designed and intended for use for life saving or distress signalling purposes, an antique muzzle loading firearm, or a rifle or shotgun manufactured before 1920.

16.Any firearm which, or part of which, has a dimension less than the minimum dimension prescribed for the firearm or part by the regulations.

18.Any device known as a “powerhead” that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and that is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive.

Trespassing with Firearm or Speargun – s93H(1) Crimes Act

Being charged with trespassing with a firearm or spear gun can adversely affect your life, impacting your ability to work and travel.

However, with Sydney’s best firearms lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that you will get the most positive outcome in your case – in some situations, you may even avoid a conviction altogether!

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of trespassing with a firearm or spear gun, the prosecution has to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you entered a building or land without the owner’s permission (trespass)
  • That you had in your possession a firearm, imitation firearm, spear gun or imitation spear gun

If you do not feel that the prosecution will be able to make out these two elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Our firearms experts can then push to have the charges dropped before you end up in court by raising any problems with the prosecution evidence, or by explaining your side of the story, along with any evidence that supports your case.

For example, you may argue that you were not trespassing because you had permission from the owner of the property, or you may argue that the weapon that you possessed did not match the description above.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, you can rest assured that you will be represented in court by one of our highly respected Accredited Criminal Law Specialists – senior lawyers with a proven track record of winning complex firearms cases.

Our firearms specialists are best placed to advise you of your options, including whether you have a relevant defence, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into trespassing with the weapon (duress)
  • Where trespassing with the weapon was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you committed the offence to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you were unaware that you were trespassing honest and reasonable mistake of fact

Pleading Guilty

If you do not want to fight the charges in court, you might wish to enter a plea of guilty.

In many cases, entering a plea of guilty at an early opportunity can be beneficial as it means that you will be spared the time, expense and inconvenience of having your matter heard in court.

It may also result in a better outcome for you as it will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions. This may result in you receiving a lesser penalty than if you had been found guilty after a hearing or trial.

However, before pleading guilty to any offence, you should make sure that you speak to an experienced lawyer who is able to examine your case and advise whether you are able to raise a defence.

If you are willing to plead guilty, you should also be aware of the maximum penalties that could apply.

Generally, your matter will be heard in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

However, in more serious cases, the prosecution can choose to have the matter heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.

It is important to note that these are maximum penalties, so they will only apply in serious cases.

At the end of the day, the penalty that you will receive depends largely on the facts and circumstances of your case.  The magistrate or judge has the power to deal with the matter by way of a variety of penalties, including:

Our experienced firearms lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to secure the best possible outcome in your case by presenting the facts and circumstances of your case in a favourable light.

With years of experience fighting and winning these types of matters, we understand how this area of the law operates and what needs to be done to secure a positive result.

When it comes to your freedom, trust the experts to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with trespassing on someone’s property with a firearm or spear gun can be a stressful experience that can negatively impact your life and your future.

But with the help of a lawyer with a proven track record of defending firearms offences, you can ensure that you get the best possible outcome – in some cases, you may even be able to avoid a conviction altogether.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers has been successfully defending clients in firearms cases for many years. Our main aim in every case is to have the charges dropped before we go to court – saving you time and money.

We are able to secure these types of positive outcomes thanks to the hard work of our dedicated lawyers, who carefully scrutinise all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case at an early stage. In many cases, we are able to have charges withdrawn or downgraded to less serious charges.

If you want to plead guilty, you will be guaranteed the best possible outcome. Our expert lawyers specialise in obtaining section 10s for clients – where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record. This can be particularly helpful where you are worried about the impact that a criminal record will have on your work and travel plans.

So call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your first FREE conference to discuss your matter today.

Dangerous Use of Firearm or Spear Gun – s93H(2) Crimes Act

Being charged with the dangerous use of a firearm or spear gun is a serious offence which can put a hold on your life and future.

But with the help of Sydney’s most experienced firearms lawyers, you can ensure that you have the best possible defence to the charges – so that you can move on with your life as soon as possible.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of dangerously using a firearm or spear gun, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you fired a firearm or spear gun into a building
  • That you did not have a reasonable excuse or lawful purpose for doing so

If you believe that either of these elements cannot be made out – for example, if you did not fire the firearm or spear gun, or where you believe that you had a reasonable excuse or lawful purpose, our lawyers can help you fight the charges to prove your innocence.

We can do this by pushing to have the charges dropped at an early stage by highlighting any deficiencies in the prosecution evidence, or by raising evidence to prove your side of the story.

If necessary, our highly respected advocates can fight your matter in court by raising all evidence to support your case and by examining all relevant witnesses.

We can also help you raise any defences that explain your conduct, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into firing the firearm or spear gun (duress)
  • Where firing the firearm or spear gun was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where firing the firearm or spear gun was necessary to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you were the owner of the property on which the weapon was fired, or where the owner of the property has given you permission to use the weapon on their property
  • Where you had a lawful purpose for using the firearm or spear gun – for example, for approved hunting or the approved culling of animals.

If the court accepts your defence, you will be found ‘not guilty.’

Pleading Guilty

Alternatively, you may wish to simply accept the allegations against you. In these circumstances, you may wish to enter a plea of guilty as soon as possible.

By entering an early guilty plea, you may secure a more favourable outcome in your dangerous use of a firearm or spear gun case.

This is because you will be spared the time and expense of a hearing or trial to determine your guilt, and, most importantly, you may end up with a more lenient penalty as you will be showing the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

Before pleading guilty, it’s important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to best advise you of your available options.

If you wish to plead guilty, it’s also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that could apply in this case.

Where your matter is heard in the Local Court, the maximum penalty for dangerously using a firearm or spear gun is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine where your matter is heard in the Local Court.

In some cases, the prosecution can choose to have the matter heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

However, these are maximum penalties only, and they will only apply in the most serious cases.

With our leading firearms lawyers on your side, you can increase your chances of obtaining a favourable penalty in your case by persuading the magistrate or judge to deal with the offence in some other way, for example:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It can be hard to know who to turn to when your liberty is at stake, but with the experts from Sydney Criminal Lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that you are getting the best possible outcome in your firearms case.

Our expert lawyers have a proven track record of defending and winning ‘dangerous use of firearm or spear gun’ cases, by examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case. In many instances, we are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by writing to the prosecution and highlighting these issues.

We also pride ourselves on our ability to have these types of charges downgraded to less serious charges through negotiations with the police. By doing this, we guarantee that you will receive the lowest possible penalty.

Our lawyers are also exceptional advocates – so you can rest assured that your case is in safe hands if it progresses to a hearing or trial.

So call the firearms experts today on (02) 9261 88811 and find out how we can help you win your dangerous use of a firearm or spear gun case.

Firing at Dwelling Houses or Buildings – s93GA Crimes Act

Firing at a dwelling-house or building is a serious offence that can adversely affect your life and future.

But you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges by engaging the expert firearms lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

Our in-depth knowledge of the law guarantees that you will receive the best outcome in your firearms case – no matter how serious the allegations are.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of firing at a dwelling-house or building, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt. Unless the prosecution is able to prove both of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found ‘not guilty’:

  • That you fired a firearm or weapon at a house or building
  • That you did so with ‘reckless disregard’ for the safety of other persons

It is not necessary that the prosecution prove that anyone was endangered by you firing at the dwelling house or building – this means that you may still be charged with this offence if there was no-one inside the house or building.

If you don’t believe that the prosecution will be able to prove both of these factors beyond a reasonable doubt, you may want to discuss the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ with our highly experienced criminal defence team.

Unlike other lawyers, who may urge you to go to court, our lawyers always push to have the charges dropped as soon as possible by negotiating with the prosecution and raising problems with their evidence.

In many cases, these tactics have saved our clients the time and expense of a District Court trial.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, we will fight hard to ensure that you get the best possible outcome by presenting compelling arguments in court and by persuasively examining all witnesses.

We can also advise if you have a defence to the charges, which, if raised successfully, will result in a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

Available defences may include:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into firing at the dwelling or building (duress)
  • Where firing at the dwelling or building was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you fired at the dwelling or building to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Pleading Guilty

Sometimes, you may not want to fight the charges – you might simply wish to plead guilty.

This approach can be beneficial in some cases as you will be spared the time and expense of a defended hearing or trial to determine your guilt, and you will also show to the court that you have accepted responsibility for the offence.

This will often result in a lighter penalty, as the judge will award you a ‘discount’ on your sentence.

However, before pleading guilty, it is in your best interests to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to examine all the evidence to see whether there is any way of fighting the charges.

If you do not want to fight the charges, it is important to be aware of the maximum penalties that will apply if you plead guilty.

Firing a weapon at a house or building is a serious offence that can only be dealt with by the District Court in front of a judge.

The maximum penalty for this offence depends on the facts and circumstances of your case:

Relevant Section

When you have…

The maximum penalty is…

S 93GA (1)

Fired at a house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons 14 years imprisonment

S 93GA (1A)

Fired at a house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons during a public disorder 16 years imprisonment

S 93GA (1B)

Fired at a house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons in the course of an organized criminal activity 16 years imprisonment

It’s important to remember that these are maximum penalties only, and the penalty that you will receive will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case – for example, whether anyone was inside the house or building at the time, how many shots were fired, and so on.

Other factors, such as your prior criminal record and your likelihood of reoffending can also be taken into account when determining your penalty.

The judge has the power to deal with this offence in several different ways, including:

Remember, your best chance at getting a good outcome in your case is to get a lawyer with a proven track record of fighting and winning these types of cases.

Our criminal defence team is highly experienced in obtaining excellent results, even in the most difficult firearms matters.

Our expert lawyers will put forth your case in the best possible light to ensure that you get a favourable outcome in your matter.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It’s only natural to feel worried about the future when you’ve been charged with firing a weapon at a dwelling house or building.

But you can alleviate those concerns by engaging an expert criminal lawyer with a proven track record of fighting and winning these types of matters.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we pride ourselves on our ability to win even the most difficult firearms cases for our clients.

Our expert defence team has developed various methods over the years to ensure that we get the best possible outcome, every time.

We thoroughly examine all the evidence to find inconsistencies and problems with the prosecution case. In many cases, by raising issues at an early stage, we can have charges withdrawn at an early stage before you end up in court.

Even where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our dedicated lawyers will negotiate to have the charges downgraded – so that you will face less onerous penalties.

If you wish to fight the charges in court, you can rest assured that our exceptional advocates will put forth your case in a positive light to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

So call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book in your first FREE consultation to discuss your matter with us.

Other Information

The law can sometimes be difficult to understand and interpret – which is why we have included some additional information below.

Keep reading for more information on the offence of ‘firing at a dwelling-house or building’ and how it may affect you.

What does the prosecution need to prove?

There are two key factors that the prosecution needs to prove before you can be found guilty of this offence. These are:

That you fired a firearm or weapon at a house or building

It must be shown that you were the person who fired the firearm.

A building can include a tent, vehicle, boat or a temporary structure.

Firearms include pistols and imitation firearms.

That you did so with ‘reckless disregard’ for the safety of other persons

The prosecution must prove that you knew, or should have known, that your actions could have resulted in harm or danger to another person.

In some cases, you might be charged with the more serious offence of ‘firing at a dwelling-house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons during a public disorder,’ or ‘firing at a house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons in the course of an organised criminal activity.’

In these cases, the prosecution will have to prove the two elements discussed above, plus some additional element:

Firing at a dwelling-house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons during a public disorder

In this case, the prosecution must prove that you fired the weapon at a house or building during a ‘public disorder.’

A public disorder is a civil disturbance that poses a serious risk to public safety, such as a riot or violent protest.

Firing at a house or building with reckless disregard for the safety of other persons in the course of an organised criminal activity

In this case, the prosecution must prove that you fired the weapon at a house or building during an ‘organised criminal activity.’

Organised criminal activity refers to some form of criminal conduct that has been planned by a criminal group – for example, if a group of people plan to break into a house.

Possess Unregistered Firearm in Public Place – s93I(1) Crimes Act

Being charged with possessing an unregistered firearm in a public place can be concerning and stressful, particularly when your liberty is at stake.

But you can count on the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers to fight for you every step of the way, allowing you to secure the most favourable outcome.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of possessing an unregistered firearm in a public place, the prosecution must prove two factors (known as elements) beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you had an unregistered firearm in your possession in a public place
  • That you were not authorised to possess the firearm under the Firearms Act 1996

If you do not feel that the prosecution will be able to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should consider entering a plea of ‘not guilty.’

Our highly experienced criminal defence team can then help you fight the charges by writing to the prosecution and highlighting any problems with the prosecution case.

In doing so, we have been able to get charges dropped at an early stage – sparing our clients the time and expense of fighting the matter in court.

However, should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, rest assured that our highly skilled advocates will fight hard to prove your innocence in court by presenting all evidence to show why you should be found ‘not guilty.’

For example, you may argue that:

  • You were authorised to possess the firearm
  • The firearm was registered
  • You were coerced or threatened into possessing the firearm (duress)
  • The possession of the firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • You  possessed the firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Sydney Criminal Lawyers has an excellent track record of fighting and winning firearms cases. Our expert lawyers will be happy to advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the charges.

Pleading Guilty

If you don’t want to fight the charges, you can plead guilty before your matter ends up in court.

By doing this, you will save yourself the time and expense involved with a trial or hearing.

You will also most likely receive a lesser penalty than if you had been found guilty after a trial or hearing, because the court will take into consideration the fact that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

However, if you aren’t sure about whether or not you should plead guilty, you should speak to an experienced criminal lawyer.

They will be able to advise you on whether you are able to fight the charges to secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

If you want to plead guilty, you should be aware of the maximum penalties that could apply in your case.

Usually, these types of matters are dealt with in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

However, if the prosecution chooses to have the matter heard in the District Court, you could face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

Ultimately, the penalty that you will receive will come down to the facts and circumstances of your case – for example, what type of weapon you had, whether there were people around and whether you have a prior criminal record.

It is therefore important to ensure that your lawyer is experienced in these types of matters, and who can present your case effectively to secure a positive outcome.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have a proven track record of fighting and winning firearms cases.

Our expert lawyers have considerable experience preparing persuasive ‘sentencing submissions’ which are highly effective in helping our clients obtain favourable results.

The types of penalties that the court can impose include:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we know that being charged with an offence like possessing an unauthorised firearm in a public place can be frustrating and scary.

But it’s not the end of the world – with the help of our expert criminal lawyers, you can make sure that you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Our outstanding advocates have represented clients in numerous firearms cases, so we are best placed to advise you on your options when you have been charged with possession of an unauthorised firearm in a public place.

If you want to plead not guilty and fight the charges, our expert lawyers will work hard to obtain all prosecution evidence and thoroughly examine it to find issues. Where we find problems with the prosecution case, our dedicated experts will write to the prosecution asking them to withdraw the charges.

If the prosecution refuses to withdraw the charges at an early stage, you can rest assured that we will fight hard to raise any possible defences in court to ensure that you get a positive outcome.

Where you wish to plead guilty, our persuasive lawyers will present your case in the most positive light to ensure that you get a favourable sentence.

So call the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 to book in your first FREE appointment.

More Information

What does the prosecution need to prove?

Before you can be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are unable to prove both of these elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of this offence:

That you had an unregistered firearm in your possession in a public place

The prosecution must prove that you had a firearm under your custody and control.

They must also prove that it was not registered with the Firearms Register that is maintained by the NSW Police Force.

Finally, they must prove that you possessed the firearm in a public place – this is defined as any place or premise that is open to the public. This can include parks, shopping centres, pubs, public reserves and so on.

That you were not authorised to possess the firearm under the Firearms Act 1996

This means that you must be shown to have a valid licence or permit to possess the firearm.

You must also be shown to have a genuine reason for possessing the firearm. A genuine reason does NOT include personal protection or the protection or another person or property.

You must be able to provide evidence of a ‘genuine reason’ to the court.

Genuine reasons include:

  • Sport or target shooting, where you are a member of an approved shooting club
  • Recreational hunting or vermin control, on rural land where you have permission from the owner of the rural land or a valid authority (such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service)
  • Where you are a farmer and you need to use the firearm in relation to farming
  • Pest control, where you are a professional contract shooter engaged or employed in controlling pests or rural land, or where you are employed by the government to control pests, or where you are a farmer and you are authorised to eradicate feral or diseased animals
  • Where you need the firearm for your work or employment – for example as a security guard or a police officer
  • For animal welfare reasons, where you are an RSPCA or Animal Welfare League officer or a vet, or someone else who needs to destroy animals to prevent suffering
  • Where you have a firearms collection and you are a current member of an approved collectors society or club

Aggravated Possession of Unregistered Firearm – s93I(2) Crimes Act

Being charged with aggravated possession of an unregistered firearm can result in unwanted negative outcomes.

But with the help of the expert firearms lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you can effectively fight the charges and secure the most positive outcome in your firearms case.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

The offence of ‘aggravated possession of an unregistered firearm’ is very similar to the offence of ‘possess unregistered firearm in a public place,’ however, it involves ‘circumstances of aggravation’.

This means that, in order to be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove three factors (known as ‘elements’) beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you had an unregistered firearm in your possession in a public place
  • That you were not authorised to possess the firearm under the Firearms Act 1996
  • At least one ‘circumstance of aggravation’

There are three possible circumstances of aggravation under the law. The prosecution only needs to prove one of these in addition to the other two factors listed above:

  • Where you possessed more than one unregistered firearm
  • Where the unregistered firearm was a pistol
  • Where the unregistered firearm was a ‘prohibited weapon’

For a full list of prohibited weapons, see the More Information section at the bottom of this page.

If you don’t believe that the prosecution will be able to make out all of the elements of this offence, you should speak to our firearms experts about pleading ‘not guilty.’

The expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers specialises in firearms matters and has a proven track record of fighting and winning ‘aggravated possession of an unregistered firearm’ cases.

Our criminal law specialists will fight hard to have the charges dropped at an early stage by writing to the prosecution and highlighting any problems with the prosecution case. This means that our clients are often spared the time and expense of a defended hearing or District Court trial.

Where the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our expert advocates will fight hard in court to win your case by raising all evidence that supports your case and examining all witnesses.

Our knowledgeable lawyers will also be able to advise whether you can raise a defence to fight the charges, for example where:

  • You were authorised to possess the firearm
  • The firearm was registered
  • You were coerced or threatened into possessing the firearm (duress)
  • The possession of the firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • You  possessed the firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Pleading Guilty

Alternatively, you may not want to fight the charges at all. Where you are willing to accept the allegations against you, you can enter a plea of ‘guilty’ to the charges before you go to court.

This means that you will be spared the time and expense of a court trial. It is also likely that you will get a more favourable outcome in your case, because by pleading guilty, you will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions.

However, it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer before entering a plea of guilty to any offence, because there may be some way in which you can fight the charges and be found ‘not guilty.’

If you’re thinking about pleading guilty, it’s also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that could apply in your case.

The maximum penalty that applies in this case depends on whether it is heard in the Local or the District Court.

If the matter stays in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

However, in more serious cases, the prosecution may choose to have the matter heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment.

It’s important to bear in mind that these are maximum penalties only, hence they will only apply in the most serious cases. In fact, the court can only impose imprisonment as a last resort.

The court may instead choose to deal with the matter by way of some alternative penalty – for example:

You can increase your chances of getting a lenient penalty in your case by getting our highly experienced criminal defence team on your side.

As Sydney’s leading firearms lawyers, we have considerable experience fighting and winning firearms cases, we will fight to have the matter dealt with in the Local Court, where the penalties are less onerous.

Our criminal law experts can advise you of your options and put forth your case in a positive light to secure you a favourable outcome.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It can be hard to know who to turn to when you’ve been charged with aggravated possession of a prohibited firearm.

But you can ensure that you have the most effective legal defence against the charges by getting a good criminal lawyer on your side, who has extensive knowledge and experience of firearms law.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we are proud of our proven track record of defending and winning aggravated possession of prohibited firearm cases.

Our lawyers obtain exceptional results by meticulously examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case, and raising these issues at an early stage in the proceedings to get charges dropped before you end up in court.

This sets apart from other law firms who urge their clients to fight the matter in court – which is often more costly and may result in a less favourable outcome.

In other cases, our lawyers can push to have the charges downgraded, so that you will face less onerous penalties.

Even if you do end up in court, you can trust in the experience of our highly-respected and reputable advocates, who appear in court on a daily basis. They will effectively fight the charges by cross-examining all relevant witnesses and putting forth every possible defence to ensure that you get the best possible result.

So call us today on (02) 9261 8881 to book your first FREE appointment to discuss your case with one of our firearms experts.

More Information

What does the prosecution need to prove?

Before you can be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are unable to prove both of these elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of this offence:

That you had an unregistered firearm in your possession in a public place

The prosecution must prove that you had a firearm under your custody and control.

They must also prove that it was not registered with the Firearms Register that is maintained by the NSW Police Force.

Finally, they must prove that you possessed the firearm in a public place – this is defined as any place or premise that is open to the public. This can include parks, shopping centres, pubs, public reserves and so on.

That you were not authorised to possess the firearm under the Firearms Act 1996

This means that you must be shown to have a valid licence or permit to possess the firearm.

You must also be shown to have a genuine reason for possessing the firearm. A genuine reason does NOT include personal protection or the protection or another person or property.

You must be able to provide evidence of a ‘genuine reason’ to the court.

Genuine reasons include:

  • Sport or target shooting, where you are a member of an approved shooting club
  • Recreational hunting or vermin control, on rural land where you have permission from the owner of the rural land or a valid authority (such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service)
  • Where you are a farmer and you need to use the firearm in relation to farming
  • Pest control, where you are a professional contract shooter engaged or employed in controlling pests or rural land, or where you are employed by the government to control pests, or where you are a farmer and you are authorised to eradicate feral or diseased animals
  • Where you need the firearm for your work or employment – for example as a security guard or a police officer
  • For animal welfare reasons, where you are an RSPCA or Animal Welfare League officer or a vet, or someone else who needs to destroy animals to prevent suffering
  • Where you have a firearms collection and you are a current member of an approved collectors society or club

At least one ‘aggravating circumstance’:
The law states that there are three aggravating circumstances:

  • Where you possessed more than one unregistered firearm
  • Where the unregistered firearm was a pistol
  • Where the unregistered firearm was a ‘prohibited weapon’

For a full list of prohibited weapons, see below.

What is a ‘prohibited firearm’?

The law says that there are 17 different types of prohibited firearms. These are:
1.Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

2.Any self-loading rimfire rifle

3.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle

4.Any self-loading or pump action shotgun

5.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

6.Any self-loading shotgun of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

7.Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance (regardless of calibre or manner of operation) a firearm referred to in item 1, 5 or 6.

8.A firearm, not being a pistol, of the Uberti or Armi-Jager brands, or any similar firearm fitted with a revolving ammunition cylinder (other than a firearm manufactured before 1920).

9.A shotgun fitted with or designed to be fitted with a drum magazine of the “Striker 12” assault shotgun type or any similar weapon.

10.Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.

11.A firearm, not being a pistol, fitted with a stock that is specially designed so as to be readily detachable, or to operate on a swivel, folding or telescopic basis.

12.A firearm made up in the form of a stylographic or propelling pen or pencil, capable of being used for the discharge of gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares.

13.A firearm capable of discharging by any means:
a)Any irritant matter in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, or
b)Any pyrotechnic flare or dye, or
c)Any article known as a “paint-ball”.

14.A firearm that:
a)Substantially duplicates in appearance some other article (such as a walking stick, walking cane or key ring), and
b)Disguises or conceals the fact that it is a firearm.

15.A cannon or other weapon by whatever name known of a type which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore in excess of 10 gauge, not being a firearm of the Very or rocket type designed and intended for use for life saving or distress signalling purposes, an antique muzzle loading firearm, or a rifle or shotgun manufactured before 1920.

16.Any firearm which, or part of which, has a dimension less than the minimum dimension prescribed for the firearm or part by the regulations.

18.Any device known as a “powerhead” that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and that is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive.

Unauthorised Possession of Firearms in Aggravated Circumstances – s51D Firearms Act

It can be tough being charged with the unauthorised possession of firearms in aggravated circumstances, especially when you’re worried about how the charges may impact your plans for the future.

However, when you’re armed with the knowledge and experience of Sydney’s best criminal lawyers, you can rest assured knowing that you will get the best possible outcome in your case.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

The offence of ‘unauthorised possession of firearms in aggravated circumstances’ is very similar to the offence of ‘possess or use of unlicenced firearms’, however requires the prosecution to prove an additional ‘circumstance of aggravation.’

Essentially, this means that, in order for you to be found guilty, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you had three or more firearms in your possession
  • That you did not hold an appropriate firearms licence

You may also face harsher penalties if any of the firearms in your possession is a pistol or a prohibited weapon. For a full list of prohibited weapons, see the More Information section at the bottom of this page.

If you don’t believe that either of the above factors can be proved by the prosecution, you can speak to our experienced firearms lawyers about pleading ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Our lawyers specialise in defending firearms offences and can help you fight the charges by writing to the prosecution and asking for the charges to be dropped at an early stage, sparing you the time and expense of going to court.

Should the matter proceed to court, our skilled advocates will fight hard to protect your innocence by presenting all evidence in a compelling manner and effectively examining all witnesses.

Our lawyers can also assist in identifying any possible defences to the charges, which, if accepted, will result in a finding of ‘not guilty.’

Commonly raised defences include:

  • Where you believed that you had a valid or appropriate licence for holding the firearms (honest and reasonable mistake of fact)
  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing or using the firearm (duress)
  • Where the use or possession of the firearm was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you used or possessed the firearm to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Pleading Guilty

In other cases, you may wish to simply accept the allegations against you and plead guilty to the charges.

Often, this may be a good approach as it will show the court that you are sorry for what you did, and it will also indicate that you have accepted responsibility for your actions. In most cases, this will result in you obtaining a ‘discount’ on your sentence – which is essentially a lesser penalty than you would have received if you had been found guilty by the court.

However, before entering a plea of guilty or admitting to the offence, it’s important to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to look at all the evidence and determine whether there are any defences that you could raise.

If you are willing to plead guilty to the offence, you should also be aware of the maximum penalties that could apply.

If your matter stays in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.

However, in serious cases, the prosecution can ask for the matter to be heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

You could also face harsher penalties if any of the weapons is shown to be a pistol or a prohibited weapon. In these cases, the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment. For a full list of prohibited weapons, see the More Information section at the bottom of this page.

It’s important to remember that the maximum penalties will only apply in the most serious of cases.

The penalty that you will receive in your case depends on all the facts and circumstances – for example, the number of weapons that you possessed, what type of weapons they were, and other factors such as your prior criminal record and your likelihood of reoffending.

Our lawyers can help you increase your chances of getting a lenient penalty by fighting to have the charges downgraded.

Our criminal defence team are highly skilled advocates and will prepare compelling sentencing submissions that highlight any positive features of your case in order to maximise your chances of obtaining a lenient penalty.

The types of penalties that the court can impose include:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with the unauthorised possession of a firearm in aggravating circumstances can have an adverse effect on your life and future; threatening your freedom and hampering your ability to work and travel.

But you can trust the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers to fight for you every step of the way to ensure that you get the best result – no matter how serious the charges are.

We understand that your freedom is your most valuable asset, which is why we always push to have the charges dropped before you end up in court. By thoroughly examining all the evidence, our expert lawyers can identify problems with the prosecution case and persuade the prosecution to withdraw or downgrade the charges.

If you end up in court, our dedicated advocates will fight hard to have the charges dismissed by raising any possible defences – for example, where you believed that you had a valid or appropriate licence for holding the firearms, or where you were coerced or threatened into possessing or using the firearm.

If you want to plead guilty, we guarantee that you will get the best possible legal representation from one of our experienced senior lawyers – giving you a leading edge when it comes to securing the best possible outcome in your case.

So don’t settle for a less experienced lawyer – call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and get the ball rolling in your firearms case.

More Information

What is a ‘prohibited weapon’?

The law says that there are 17 different types of prohibited weapons. These are:

1.Any machine gun, sub-machine gun or other firearm capable of propelling projectiles in rapid succession during one pressure of the trigger.

2.Any self-loading rimfire rifle

3.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle

4.Any self-loading or pump action shotgun

5.Any self-loading centre-fire rifle of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

6.Any self-loading shotgun of a kind that is designed or adapted for military purposes.

7.Any firearm that substantially duplicates in appearance (regardless of calibre or manner of operation) a firearm referred to in item 1, 5 or 6.

8.A firearm, not being a pistol, of the Uberti or Armi-Jager brands, or any similar firearm fitted with a revolving ammunition cylinder (other than a firearm manufactured before 1920).

9.A shotgun fitted with or designed to be fitted with a drum magazine of the “Striker 12” assault shotgun type or any similar weapon.

10.Any firearm to which there is attached any article or device capable of muffling, reducing or stopping the noise created by firing the firearm.

11.A firearm, not being a pistol, fitted with a stock that is specially designed so as to be readily detachable, or to operate on a swivel, folding or telescopic basis.

12.A firearm made up in the form of a stylographic or propelling pen or pencil, capable of being used for the discharge of gas, bullets, shot, dye or pyrotechnic flares.

13.A firearm capable of discharging by any means:
a)Any irritant matter in liquid, powder, gas or chemical form, or
b)Any pyrotechnic flare or dye, or
c)Any article known as a “paint-ball”.

14.A firearm that:
a)Substantially duplicates in appearance some other article (such as a walking stick, walking cane or key ring), and
b)Disguises or conceals the fact that it is a firearm.

15.A cannon or other weapon by whatever name known of a type which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore in excess of 10 gauge, not being a firearm of the Very or rocket type designed and intended for use for life saving or distress signalling purposes, an antique muzzle loading firearm, or a rifle or shotgun manufactured before 1920.

16.Any firearm which, or part of which, has a dimension less than the minimum dimension prescribed for the firearm or part by the regulations.

18.Any device known as a “powerhead” that can be attached to the end of a spear gun and that is designed to propel a projectile by means of an explosive.

Causing Danger with Firearm or Spear Gun – s93G Crimes Act

Being charged with an offence such as ‘causing danger with a firearm or spear gun’ can have a devastating impact on your life and future.

However, with the help of Sydney’s most experienced firearms lawyers, you can fight the charges and secure a favourable outcome, leaving you free to continue living your life.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

Before you can be found guilty of causing danger with a firearm or spear gun, the prosecution has to prove certain factors (known as ‘elements’) beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you had a loaded firearm or spear gun in your possession, either in a public place OR in any place that would endanger the life of another person OR that you fired a firearm or spear gun in or near a public place OR That you carried or fired a firearm or spear gun in a manner likely to injure, endanger the safety of yourself or another person, or with disregard for the safety of yourself or any other person;
  • And that you endangered the life of another person.

If you feel that the prosecution will not be able to prove these elements, you may wish to speak to our firearms specialists about how to best fight the charges.

Our expert criminal lawyers can assist you by writing to the prosecution and asking to have the charges dropped at an early stage by highlighting any deficiencies in the prosecution evidence – for example, where there is not enough evidence to prove that you committed the offence.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our highly skilled Accredited Criminal Law Specialists will work hard to defend your matter in court, by raising all relevant evidence and examining all witnesses in a compelling manner.

Our lawyers will also be able to advise you about whether there is a defence that you could raise to justify or explain your actions – if raised successfully, a defence will result in a verdict of ‘not guilty.’ Available defences may include:

  • Where you had a lawful reason or purpose for possessing the firearm
  • Where you were coerced or threatened into causing danger with the firearm or spear gun (duress)
  • Where the danger caused by the firearm or spear gun was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where the danger caused by the firearm or spear gun was necessary to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)

Pleading Guilty

In some cases, you might not wish to fight the charges at all. In these situations, entering a plea of guilty at an early stage in the proceedings can be beneficial as it will show to the court that you are sorry for your actions and that you have accepted responsibility for your wrongdoing. You may therefore end up with a more lenient penalty than if you had been found guilty by the court.

However, before entering a plea of guilty, it’s important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to tell you whether you have a defence to the charges, which would result in a more favourable outcome.

It is also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that you could face before you enter a plea of guilty.

If you are found guilty of causing danger with a firearm or spear gun, you will face a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine if your matter is dealt with in the Local Court.

However, if your matter is serious and the prosecution chooses to have it heard in the District Court, you could face a harsher maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

It’s also important to bear in mind that the maximum penalties will only apply in the most serious cases. The penalty that you will receive will depend on the individual circumstances of your case.

Our dedicated lawyers will always push to have the matter heard in the Local Court, where you will face less onerous penalties. We will also prepare persuasive sentencing submissions to ensure that you have the best possible chance at getting a lenient penalty.

The types of penalties that could apply include:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we know how tough it can be to be charged with ‘causing danger with a firearm or spear gun,’ particularly when it has the potential to restrict your freedom.

That’s why, in every case, our dedicated advocates fight hard to have the charges dropped at an early stage in the proceedings. We achieve these types of positive outcomes by thoroughly examining all the evidence to find issues with the prosecution case and seeking to have the charges dropped on this basis.

Where matters do proceed to court, we give our clients the strongest possible defence by effectively cross-examining all relevant witnesses and by casting doubt on the prosecution case.

Even where you choose to plead guilty, you can rest assured that you will get the best possible outcome in your case as our expert lawyers will fight hard to ensure that you get the most lenient penalty possible.

So for the most effective defence against your firearm charges, call us today on
(02) 9261 8881 to arrange your first FREE conference
.

More Information

It can sometimes be difficult to navigate and understand the law – that’s why we’ve included some additional information below to help you understand the charges.

What does the prosecution need to prove?

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution needs to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

That you had a loaded firearm or spear gun in your possession, either

  • That you had a loaded firearm or spear gun in your possession, either in a public place OR in any place that would endanger the life of another person OR that you fired a firearm or spear gun in or near a public place OR That you carried or fired a firearm or spear gun in a manner likely to injure, endanger the safety of yourself or another person, or with disregard for the safety of yourself or any other person;

A loaded firearm is one which has ammunition in its chamber or barrel, or which has ammunition in a magazine or other device which is in such a position that the ammunition can be fitted into its chamber or barrel by operation or some other part of the firearm.

A spear gun is loaded if a spear, or anything resembling a spear, is fitted to it.

A public place is defined as any place or premise that is open to the public. This can include parks, shopping centres, pubs, public reserves and so on.

  • And that you endangered the life of another person.

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the firearm was likely to injure or endanger the safety of another person.

It must be shown that the way in which you carried the firearm would have a probable, rather than just a possible likelihood of injuring or endangering the safety of another person.

There must be a ‘substantial, real and not remote chance’ of danger occurring.

Possession of Offensive Weapon in Place of Detention – s27D Summary Offences Act

Being charged with possession of an offensive weapon in a place of detention can have a negative impact on your future, affecting your ability to work and travel overseas.

However, with the help of Sydney’s best criminal defence team, you can fight the charges to secure a positive outcome – potentially avoiding a conviction altogether!

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon in a place of detention, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you possessed an offensive weapon or instrument
  • That at the time you possessed the offensive weapon or instrument, you were in a place of detention
  • That you did not have a reasonable excuse for possessing the offensive weapon or instrument in the place of detention

If you believe that the prosecution will be unable to prove either of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to enter a plea of ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Our lawyers can then help you fight the matter by writing to the prosecution; highlighting problems in their case and asking for the charges to be dropped.

Often, this resolves the matter at an early stage without our clients incurring the expense of fighting the matter in court.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our experienced defence team can represent you in court.

We will fight hard to protect your innocence by raising all relevant evidence that supports your side of the story, along with any defence to the charges that may be used to explain or justify your conduct.

Commonly raised defences in relation to ‘possession of an offensive weapon in a place of detention’ include:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing the weapon or instrument in the place of detention (duress)
  • Where the possession of the offensive weapon was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you had a reasonable excuse for having the weapon – for example, where you were a security guard at the detention facility

If you’ve been charged with possessing an offensive weapon or instrument in a place of detention, it’s important that you get help from an experienced criminal lawyer, who will be able to explain the charges for you and advise you of your options.

Pleading Guilty

In some cases, you might not want to fight the charges at all and you may simply want to plead guilty. This usually means that your case will be dealt with quickly as you will not have to have a defended hearing to determine your guilt.

Furthermore, pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings may be beneficial as it will mean that you will receive a more lenient penalty. By pleading guilty at an early stage, you will show the magistrate that you have accepted responsibility for your actions, and they may take this into account when sentencing you.

However, before you decide to plead guilty, it’s important to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to advise you about whether you have a defence to the charges.

If you wish to plead guilty, it is also important that you are aware of the maximum penalties that could apply.

As possession of an offensive weapon is a summary offence, it will be dealt with in the Local Court in front of a magistrate.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of $5,500.

However, this is a maximum penalty and it will only apply in the most serious cases.

The type of penalty that you will receive will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case.

The types of penalties that you could receive include:

If you’ve been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and you wish to plead guilty, it’s important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer.

Our lawyers have a proven track record of winning firearms cases and can fight to get you a ‘section 10,’ which is where you are found guilty of the offence, but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

This is an excellent outcome if you are worried about how a criminal record could affect your ability to work and travel.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with possession of an offensive weapon or instrument in a place of detention can be nerve racking and stressful, especially if it’s your first offence.

But with the help of the expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you can rest assured that you will get the best possible outcome, no matter what.

Although possession of an offensive weapon is a summary offence, and therefore attracts less serious penalties, it’s important to get a good criminal lawyer on your side because if you are found guilty you could end up with a criminal record, which can have a negative impact on your ability to work and travel.

However, our experienced criminal lawyers can fight hard to get you a section 10 – which is where you are found guilty of the charges but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

This is a desirable outcome if you are worried about how a criminal record could affect you life.

If you don’t want to plead guilty to the charges, our expert defence team will fight hard to have the charges dropped at an early stage by raising a defence to the charges.

So for the best possible legal representation, give us a call today on (02) 9261 8881 to organise a FREE first conference to discuss your matter with one of our legal experts.

More Information

What does the prosecution need to prove?

Before you can be found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon or instrument, the prosecution has to prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are unable to prove these elements, you will be found ‘not guilty’:

That you possessed an offensive weapon or instrument

An offensive weapon is anything that is made or adapted for offensive purposes. This can include things which are not usually used as weapons, but which may be crafted or used in a way that causes harm – for example, a broken glass bottle, a needle or a screwdriver where you threaten to use them to harm other people.

An offensive weapon also includes things deemed to be ‘dangerous weapons’ – these include firearms, imitation firearms, spear guns and prohibited weapons such as rifles and shotguns.

To possess the offensive weapon, you must have it under your custody and control.

That at the time you possessed the offensive weapon or instrument, you were in a place of detention

A place of detention refers to a correctional centre (i.e. a prison), a correctional complex or a correctional residential facility.

That you did not have a reasonable excuse for possessing the offensive weapon or instrument in the place of detention

You must not have a reasonable or lawful excuse for having the offensive weapon or instrument on you – an example would be where you carried a pistol because you were a security guard, or where you carried a needle to control a medical condition.

Possession of Dangerous Articles other than Firearms – s93FB Crimes Act

The future can seem bleak when you’ve been charged with possessing a dangerous article other than a firearm.

But with the knowledge and expertise of Sydney’s most experienced criminal lawyers, you can rest assured that you will get the most favourable outcome in your case – no matter how serious the charges are.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of possessing a dangerous article other than a firearm, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you had a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm
  • That the dangerous weapon was capable of discharging an irritant or other substance that could cause bodily harm, or a fuse or detonator that could be used with an explosive
  • That you were in a public place at the time that you possessed the weapon

If you feel that the prosecution will be unable to prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to plead ‘not guilty.’

Our highly experienced firearms specialists can then advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the charges.

In many cases, our dedicated lawyers have been able to have these types of charges dropped at an early stage by writing to the prosecution highlighting any problems with the prosecution case. This enables our clients to avoid the costs and time involved in a defended hearing.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, you can rest assured that our persuasive advocates will fight hard to protect you innocence in court by calling all favourable witnesses and presenting the evidence that supports your case in a compelling manner.

We can also advise whether there are any defences to the charges which may result in a finding of ‘not guilty’ if accepted in court.

Some commonly raised defences include:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing the dangerous article (duress)
  • Where the possession of the dangerous article was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • Where you  possessed the dangerous article to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you had a reasonable excuse for possessing the item – for example, if you were a woman walking alone at night and you possessed pepper spray because you had previously been exposed to violence when walking alone at night.

In determining whether you had a reasonable excuse for having the dangerous weapon (for example, self-defence), the court will consider all the facts and circumstances of the case, including:

  • The immediacy of the perceived threat
  • The time and location where the item was possessed
  • The nature of the item possessed
  • The age, characteristics and experiences of the person charged

Pleading Guilty

If you are willing to accept the charges, you may wish to simply plead guilty.

In some cases, pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings can be beneficial as it may show to the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions and that you are remorseful. This may mean that you end up with a lesser penalty.

However, before making the decision to plead guilty, it’s important that you speak to an experienced criminal lawyer as there may be some way to fight the charges and secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

You should also be aware of the maximum penalty that may apply if you are found guilty, which in this case is 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.

However, this is a maximum penalty, so it will only apply in the most serious cases.

The type of penalty that you will receive will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. The court has the power to issue a variety of penalties, for example:

You can increase your chances of getting a good outcome in your case with the help of our experienced criminal lawyers, who will fight to make sure that you get a lenient penalty.

Our skilled lawyers will always fight hard to get you a section 10 – which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record, minimising the impact of the offence on your life.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It can be frustrating being charged with possessing a dangerous weapon other than a firearm, especially when you know that you are innocent.

However, you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges by getting a good criminal lawyer on your side who will fight hard to ensure that you end up with the most positive outcome.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have defended clients in numerous dangerous weapons cases.

Our highly skilled advocates appear in court on a regular basis in relation to these charges, so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Unlike other law firms, who may encourage you to pursue the matter through the courts, we always push to have matters dropped before they end up in court, saving our clients time and money.

We are able to obtain these excellent results thanks to the hard work and dedication of our lawyers, who carefully scrutinise all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case.

And if you’re thinking about pleading guilty, you can take comfort in the knowledge that our experts have a proven track record of obtaining section 10s – which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record, leaving you free to pursue your work and travel plans.

So call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and get Sydney’s best criminal defence team on your side – don’t forget, your first conference with us is always FREE!

Possessing Explosives in a Public Place – s93FA(1) Crimes Act

Being charged with possessing explosives in a public place can have a negative impact on your life; putting a stop to your plans for the future.

But you can trust the experienced lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers to fight hard to secure a positive outcome in your case – leaving you free to get on with your life.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of possessing explosives in a public place, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you possessed an explosive
  • At the time that you possessed the explosive you were in a public place

A public place is defined as any place or premise that is open to the public. This can include parks, shopping centres, pubs, public reserves and so on.

If you don’t feel that the prosecution will be able to prove both of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Our highly experienced firearms lawyers can then give you the best possible defence against the charges by carefully examining the evidence and raising any problems with the prosecution at an early stage.

For example, our lawyers can push to have the charges dropped where you have a reasonable excuse or lawful purpose for possessing the explosive, such as where you had the explosive for work purposes, such as demolition, for festivities such as cultural celebrations, sporting events, scientific research or artistic purposes.

Often, this results in the charges being dropped at an early stage without the expense or time involved in going to court.

Should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our exceptional advocates will vigorously defend your matter in court by raising all evidence to prove your case and effectively examining all witnesses.

We will also advise you of any defences that you can raise to explain your actions, such as:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing the explosive (duress)
  • The possession of the explosive was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • You  possessed the explosive to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you had a reasonable excuse for possessing the explosive – for example, for work purposes as discussed above.

If you have been charged with possession of an explosive in a public place, it’s important to get a good criminal lawyer on your side as soon as possible as the offence may attract harsh penalties if you are convicted.

The experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers have a proven track record of fighting these types of charges and will be able to best advise you on how to protect your innocence and any defences you may be able to raise.

Pleading Guilty

Sometimes, you may not want to fight the charges – you may simply wish to plead guilty and accept the allegations against you.

If you have decided to plead guilty, it’s advisable that you enter your plea as soon as possible as you will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions – you may end up with a more lenient sentence because of this.

However, before pleading guilty, it’s important to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options. In some cases, you may be able to raise a defence to the charges and secure a verdict of ‘not guilty.’

If you are thinking about pleading guilty, it is also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that may apply.

Under the law, the maximum penalty if your matter is heard in the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment, or a fine of $5,500.

However, if the prosecution chooses to have your matter heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty that you could face will increase to 5 years imprisonment.

However, these are maximum penalties only – they will only apply in the most serious cases. The magistrate or judge will determine the appropriate penalty in your case after examining all the facts and circumstances.

The types of penalties that the court can impose include:

It’s important to ensure that you are represented by an experienced criminal lawyer if you are pleading guilty to the charges, as they will be best placed to secure a favourable outcome in your case.

Our lawyers are firearms specialists and have considerable experience preparing effective sentencing submissions in these types of cases.

We are also highly skilled at obtaining ‘section 10s’ in these types of matters, which is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal record.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being charged with possession of explosives in a public place has the potential to have a negative impact on your life – but it doesn’t always have to be that way.

With the help of the team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you can fight the charges to ensure that you receive a favourable outcome in your case.

Our dedicated lawyers will always strive to have your matter settled out of court by thoroughly examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case. If issues are found, they can be raised at an early stage and we can push to have the matter withdrawn.

If the prosecution refuses to withdraw the matter, you can rest assured that our defence team will mount a strong case against the prosecution. Our exceptional advocates will effectively cross examine all witnesses to paint your case in the most favourable light.

If you’re wishing to plead guilty, we guarantee that we will work hard to secure the best possible outcome in your case.

Our expert defence team has a proven track record of obtaining section 10s for our clients – where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded, minimising the potential for the offence to negatively impact your life.

So for the best possible defence in your explosives possession case, call the experts today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference.

Possessing, Supplying or Making an Explosive – s93FA(2) Crimes Act

Being charged with possessing, supplying or making an explosive can turn your world upside down, resulting in onerous outcomes that can impact your plans for the future.

But you can give yourself the best possible defence to the charges by enlisting the help of the experts at Sydney Criminal Lawyers. Our unparalleled experience defending these charges means that you are guaranteed the best possible outcome in your case.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That you possessed, supplied or made an explosive
  • In circumstances that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that you did not have a lawful purpose for possessing, supplying or making the explosive

If you feel that the prosecution will not be able to make out these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you may wish to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

You might also wish to plead ‘not guilty’ where you have a reasonable excuse or lawful purpose for possessing, selling or making the explosive – for example, where you had the explosive for work purposes, such as demolition, for festivities such as cultural celebrations, sporting events, scientific research or artistic purposes.

You will then be able to fight the matter in court by presenting evidence to show why you should be found innocent.

For example, you might wish to raise a defence to explain or justify your actions:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing, making or supplying the explosive (duress)
  • The possession, manufacture or supply of the explosive was necessary to prevent serious injury or danger (necessity)
  • You  possessed, made or supplied the explosive to protect yourself, your property or another person (self-defence)
  • Where you had a reasonable excuse for possessing, making or supplying the explosive – for example, for work purposes as discussed above.

If you have been charged with possessing, making or supplying an explosive, it’s important to seek representation from an experienced and capable lawyer with a proven track record of winning explosives cases. They will be in the best position to advise you of any defences that you could raise, as well as any other ways in which you can fight the charges.

Pleading Guilty

If you don’t want to fight the charges, you may wish to enter a plea of ‘guilty.’

By pleading guilty at an early stage, you might end up with a better outcome in your case, as you will show the court that you have accepted responsibility for your actions. This may induce the magistrate or judge to give you a more lenient penalty.

However, before pleading guilty to the charges, you should always speak to a criminal lawyer, who will be able to advise you about whether there is any way of fighting the charges in court.

You should also be aware of the maximum penalties that may apply.

If your matter is heard in the Local Court, you will face a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.

However, in more serious cases, the prosecution can choose to have your matter heard in the District Court, where the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.

However, these are maximum penalties only, and they will only apply in the most serious cases.

With the help of an experienced criminal lawyer, you may be able to avoid gaol altogether by persuading the magistrate to issue you with some other form of penalty.

Our lawyers are highly experienced in preparing sentencing submissions and will push to have your matter heard in the Local Court where the maximum penalties are much less onerous.

The court has the ability to impose a wide range of penalties, including:

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

The future can look bleak when you’ve been charged with possessing, making or supplying an explosive.

But you can breathe easier with Sydney’s most experienced firearms and explosives lawyers on your side.

Our expert lawyers work hard to have the charges dropped in every case, by thoroughly examining all the evidence to find problems with the prosecution case.

By raising these issues with the prosecution at an early stage in the proceedings, we are often able to have charges withdrawn so that you don’t have to go through the ordeal of a defended hearing or trial.

Even where the prosecution does not withdraw the charges, our knowledgeable lawyers will raise all available defences and effectively cross-examine all witnesses to present your case in the most favourable light.

If you wish to plead guilty, our expert defence team will fight to ensure that you get the most positive outcome in your case.

So call the experts today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first appointment to discuss your case.

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