Control of Use of Dangerous Articles

by Doogue + George Defence Lawyers

This charge is made when a person is in a public place and has something on them that could be used as a weapon.


Examples of Control of Use of Dangerous Articles

  • A man leaves a bar with a glass beer bottle, smashes the bottle and continues to carry it
  • A boy is carrying a machete at school
  • A woman is walking in the city and is carrying a kitchen knife


What are some of the possible defences to a Control of Use of Dangerous Articles charge?

  • Self-defence (i.e. the man leaving the bar was confronted by a group of men who intended to assault him and he smashed the bottle to defend himself)
  • The legitimate display or exhibition of the article (i.e. the boy brought the machete to school for an exhibition about cultural heritage)
  • Carrying the article was necessary for your job or is to be used for the purpose it was intended (i.e. the woman walking in the city is a chef who picked up a kitchen knife from another restaurant because she had run out of knives)
  • Participation in any lawful sport


There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.


Questions that are asked in cases like this:

  • Do you have a lawful excuse for carrying the dangerous article?
  • Did you have the dangerous article in your possession?


Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 120 penalty units or imprisonment for a year.


As this is a summary offence this will be heard by the Magistrates’ Court.


What is the legal definition of Control of Use of Dangerous Articles?

A person is in a public place or a licensed premises and possesses an article capable of being used as a weapon without a lawful excuse.


The Law

The section that covers this offence is section 7 of the Control of Weapons Act 1990.


What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

This is a potentially serious charge and can lead to imprisonment if you are found guilty. However, it will generally be punishable by a fine.


Have you been charged with the offence of Control of Use of Dangerous Articles? Seek legal advice immediately from a qualified criminal lawyer. Doogue + George Defence Lawyers has accredited criminal law specialists that handle weapons offence cases in any Victorian court. Get in touch with us.


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