Unauthorised Possession Or Use Of Prohibited Firearms – s 7 Firearms Act
Charged with unauthorised possession or use of a pistol or prohibited firearm offence is daunting. With over 20 years experience, our criminal defence lawyers specialise in firearms cases. They have earned a significant reputation for successfully convincing police to drop these charges early, proving their clients innocence, and avoiding prison and criminal records countless times over the years.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can only be guilty to an offence of unauthorised possession or use of a prohibited firearm if police can prove each of the following elements of the charge:
- You possessed or used a pistol or prohibited firearm; and
- Your licence or permit did not allow you to use or possess it in the way you did, or you did not have a licence or permit at the time
You will be found not guilty if police are unable to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, any one of the above elements of the offence.
Defences to this charge
You will be Not Guilty if:
- You used the pistol or prohibited firearm for a genuine reason in the way permitted under your licence or permit. i.e. firearms collection, animal welfare such as RSPCA or vet, business or employment such as police officer or security, pest animal control, sport or target shooting or recreational hunting.
- You used or possessed it for a theatrical, film or artistic purpose permitted by a valid permit.
- Your firearm was not a pistol or prohibited firearm.
- Self defence: You used or possessed the pistol or prohibited firearm believing it was necessary to protect yourself, and where the court believes your belief was reasonable in the circumstances perceived by you at the time. The same defence applies where you did it to protect property or someone else.
- Necessity or Duress: Where you did it to prevent serious harm being caused, or where you did it from an imminent threat or you were forced to.
Your firearms charge will be dismissed, and you will be not guilty if any one of the above defences apply to your case.
Speak to one of our expert firearms lawyers for picking the right defence to your case, and strengthening it early. Our senior lawyers have successfully convinced police to drop firearms charges early in the case many times with over 20 years experience. Over those years, they have established a reputation of proven success in proving their clients innocence countless times.
Where pleading guilty to an offence of unauthorised possession or use of prohibited firearms, see the below critical tips on how to prepare and present your case in a way that will maximise your chances at getting the best possible result in court. This includes avoiding a criminal record and prison.
25% Discount on punishment
Your punishment will be automatically reduced by up to 25%, leading to a better outcome simply by pleading guilty, at the earliest time in your case, to an offence of unauthorised possession or use of prohibited firearm.
This discount reduces the later the plea of guilty is entered, which makes it critical to get experienced, realistic advice and guidance by an expert firearms lawyer as early as you can.
Good character references
Your court result can be improved with a lighter punishment by gathering excellent good character reference letters for the Judge to read about your good character, insight into your behaviour, remorse and embarrassment.
Our firearms lawyers will guide you to ensure each letter covers the main points, done the right way. These letters should come from you, your family, friend, work, and charity.
Negotiate to drop charges
Our experienced firearms lawyers specialise in getting these charges dropped early, in fact have successfully achieved this many times over the years. This is often achieved by using their tactful minds to reading through the police evidence, and then picking all the holes in it when approaching police to negotiate. Speak to them on how to maximise your chances at dropping your charge early
By pointing out all the holes in the police evidence, our lawyers often negotiate and successfully change the police set of facts. This then paints their clients in a better way for the Judge to impose a much more lenient punishment and often exceptional outcome in court.
Police set of facts is a document expressing your offending behaviour that you plead guilty to for the Judge to read. It’s normally first drafted by police, making it one sided, often making you look worse. This is why it’s important that it be changed to tell the truth, and place you in a better light when the Judge reads it.
Your court result can be significantly improved, with a much lighter outcome in court by obtaining and handing a powerful psychologist or psychiatrist report to the Judge to read. For best results, it’s important to get this report from someone highly respected and experienced.
Our firearms lawyers will hand pick the best one for your case. The report should comment on your state of mind i.e. depression, schizophrenia, your understanding of the wrongness of your behaviour, your shame and remorse.
The District Court Judge can give a maximum punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment for an offence of unauthorised possession or use of prohibited firearms.
If dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum punishment is a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years. This offence is normally dealt with in the Local Court, and the Courts rarely ever give the maximum punishment, which is normally given only to the most serious offenders.
Types of punishment
Depending on your preparation and the way you present your case, as noted in the above points, the Court will give any one of the following kinds of punishment for this offence.
- Section 10 non conviction
- Section 9 good behaviour bond
- Community Service Order
- Section 12 suspended sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Home Detention
- Full Time Imprisonment
For highly experienced and realistic advice on your firearms charges, speak to one of our criminal defence lawyers specialising in firearms offences. They have successfully convinced police to drop charges early, avoided prison and criminal convictions countless times for their clients for over 20 years.