Custody of a knife in a public place

What is custody of a knife in a public place?

The offence of Custody of a knife in a public place is found at section 11C of the Summary Offences Act 1988.

Custody of a knife in a public place is an offence for which there are many defences and that police will often withdraw if there is no evidence the knife was in your possession for a malicious purpose and you are a person of prior good character. However, the likelihood of successful defence of this charge will often be dependent on what you yourself tell the police if you failed to exercise your right to silence.

If you are charged with the offence of Custody of a knife in a public place, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Custody of a knife in a public place if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You had in your custody a knife;
  2. At the time you were in a public place or a school; and
  3. You had the knife without reasonable excuse.

It is a reasonable excuse for a person to have custody of a knife, if they have custody of the knife for:

  • The lawful pursuit of the person’s occupation, education or training,
  • The preparation or consumption of food or drink,
  • Participation in a lawful entertainment, recreation or sport,
  • The exhibition of knives for retail or other trade purposes,
  • An organised exhibition by knife collectors,
  • The wearing of an official uniform,
  • Genuine religious purposes, or
  • The custody is reasonably necessary in all the circumstances during travel to or from or incidental to an activity referred to above.

If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

However, it is not a reasonable excuse for a person to have custody of a knife solely for the purpose of self-defence or the defence of another person.

Contact our offices at Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Custody of a knife in a public place.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Custody of a knife in a public place carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $2,200.00; however, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Our solicitors have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of gaol but also, depending on the seriousness of the allegation, having the offence dealt with by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for custody of knife offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Custody of a knife charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a young man whom police had found with a knife in his car. Mr Correy provided evidence to the police that the knife had been used for a fishing trip and police withdrew the charge.

Case Study

AC Law Group represented a client with a lengthy criminal history whom had been found with a knife in his possession “for self defence” while on a good behaviour bond. Our solicitor argued that the client had no history of violence and his current job had employed him on that basis despite his then criminal record. It was argued a conviction for this offence could impede his future employment prospects. The Magistrate agreed and dismissed the matter pursuant to section 10.

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