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Custody or use of a Laser Pointer in a Public Place

Custody or use of a Laser Pointer in a Public Place is an offence under Section 11FA of the Summary Offences Act 1988 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You possessed a laser pointer, and
  2. You were in a public place at the time

A laser pointer is defined as:

A hand-held battery-operated device, designed or adapted to emit a laser beam, that may be used for the purposes of aiming, targeting or pointing.

A public place is:

A place or part of a premises that is open to, or used by the public, whether or not for payment, and whether or not only open only to a limited class of persons it includes privately owned places that are open to the public, such as:

  1. Shopping centres and stores within them
  2. Restaurants, pubs and clubs
  3. Sporting venues, and
  4. Parks

A defence to the charge is that you had a ‘reasonable excuse’ for possessing the laser pointer this includes, but is not limited to, it being:

  1. Reasonably necessary for your occupation, education, training or hobby, or
  2. In your custody to travel to or from that work, education, training or hobby

The onus is on you to prove the reasonable excuse ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

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