Firearm and Weapon Offences

Leeds Lawyers have a wealth of experience in firearm and weapon-related offences. There are a number of distinct offences which relate to the unlawful use or possession of firearms and prohibited weapons.

Effective Negotiators

The Court upholds a strong public interest for the protection of the community and offences of this nature are extremely serious. It is therefore vital to obtain advice from a lawyer with specialist experience in firearms cases. Contact us now for a free confidential case assessment.

  1. We ensure that we exhaust all efforts to negotiate with the prosecution to have the charge withdrawn, plead to lesser charge with reduced penalties or significantly change the Police Facts Sheet to your advantage.
  2. Following thorough legal advice regarding the charge, weaknesses of the prosecution case against you and your available defence you may choose to contest the charge by pleading not guilty. If you are successful at the hearing, no penalty will apply.
  3. If you agree to the necessary elements of offence but not the alleged Police Facts Sheet, you have the option of proceeding to a disputed fact hearing.  Police Facts Sheets are often inaccurate or embellished and it is crucial that the facts are accurate in order to achieve an optimal result.
  4. If you are guilty of the offence and the facts are accurate, you may decide to plead guilty. We will assist you in preparing a strong subjective case supported by convincing evidence and persuasive submissions as to why the Court should not impose a conviction or exercise leniency.

Offences relating to the possession of firearms and prohibited weapons are contained in the Firearms Act 1996 and the Weapons Prohibition Act 1988. 

In relation to firearms offences the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were in possession of a firearm; and
  2. The said firearm was either:
  3. Unlicensed; or
  4. A prohibited firearm/pistol.

The most common firearms offences which frequently come before the Court are:

  1. Unauthorised Possession or use – Section 7A of the Firearms Act 1996
  2. Possession of an unregistered firearm in a public place – Section 93I of the Crimes Act
  3. Unregistered Firearms – Section 36(1) of the Firearms Act 1996
  4. Unlawful safe keeping of a firearm – Section 39 of the Firearms Act 1996
  5. Failure to comply with storage requirements – Sections 4 and 41 of the Firearms Act 1996
  6. Firing a firearm at a house or building – Section 93GA of the Crimes Act

The Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 (NSW) prohibits anyone from use, possession, buying, selling, carrying or manufacturing a weapon unless they have a valid permit. Offences under the act include:

  • Possessing an air rifle;
  • Modifying construction or action of firearms;
  • Safe keeping of and trespassing with firearms;
  • Causing danger with a firearm or spear gun;
  • Firing at dwelling house or buildings;
  • Possessing dangerous articles;
  • Possessing explosives in a public place;
  • Possessing or making an explosive;
  • Possessing and using an unlicensed firearm; and
  • Acquisition sale and disposal of weapons.

Key defences are based on whether there was a lawful excuse for possessing the weapon, and how came into the accused’s possession. Pursuant to Section 12 of the Firearms Act 1996, an individual must have a lawful excuse for possessing a firearm.

The prosecution may seek to allege that a certain instrument is a prohibited weapon or firearm. We have succeeded in utilising expert evidence to challenge this allegation and having the charge withdrawn or dismissed without the expense of a costly hearing.

If you are successfully found not guilty, no penalty applies

If you are being sentenced in the Local Court of New South Wales, the maximum penalty is 2 years in prison for each offence or if charged with more than on offence, 3 years cumulative. If your matter is being heard the District Court of New South Wales the penalties are far more severe.

For possession of weapons other than a firearm, the maximum penalty of imprisonment is 14 years and is reserved for the worst cases of offending.

Upon conviction, the Court may impose the following penalties:

  • Conditional Release Order (CRO) – A non-conviction without penalty which is usually accompanied with a condition to be of good behaviour for a period of time. If a CRO is breached, the offender may be resentenced on the prior offence and receive a harsher outcome.
  • Fine – A criminal conviction with a monetary penalty.
  • Community Corrections Order (CCO) – A criminal conviction with a bond to be of good behaviour and any other Order the Court deems fit including a Community Service work component.
  • Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) – A custodial sentence which the offender serves in the community and is subject to the supervision of Probation & Parole. It may include a home detention or a Community Service Work component. Breaches of an ICO are dealt with very seriously and are determined by the State Parole Authority.
  • Full time Imprisonment – Incarceration in a prison away from the community with a set non parole period.

Why Leeds Lawyers?

  • You deal directly with our experienced Principal Solicitor from start to successful completion.
  • We have built a reputation on achieving exceptional results.
  • Each matter is our priority and we ensure that it is thoroughly prepared.
  • You are kept informed every step of the way.
  • We become personally invested in your case because we know how important it is to you and your loved ones.
  • We offer fixed priced services for most criminal law matters.
  • We have built working relationships with other solicitors and the Police which results in more effective negotiations.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’re facing firearm or weapon offences, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the ramifications of a criminal conviction or the possibility of serious penalties like jail. That’s why an experienced lawyer specialising in firearm, bail, and criminal matters is crucial.  It pays to have someone you can deal with directly from start to successful completion. Our principal solicitor, Mark Kryakos, will help you navigate the foreign and overwhelming legal process so that you can get the best results with your firearm or weapon legal matters.

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Contact Us Now For a Free Case Assessment on 1300 433 733

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