The offence of custody of a knife in a public place is a common charge in NSW Courts. What people do not know if that if you have a “reasonable excuse” to have custody of the knife, you can often defend the charges.
It is important that you know your rights before going to court.
Plead not guilty
In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You had in your custody a knife;
- At the time you were in a public place or a school; and
- It was without reasonable excuse.
If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if you had a reasonable excuse to have custody of the knife. 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.
Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.
If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence.
The offence of having custody of a knife in a public place or school carries a maximum penalty of a $2,200 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: