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Possession of Offensive Weapon and Bladed Article Solicitors in London

Specialist London Solicitors in Possession of Offensive Weapon and Bladed Article cases

At MFI Law Limited we have the expertise in representing clients charged with possession of an offensive weapon and bladed article. Our London Solicitors are available to represent clients at London Police Stations, Magistrates' and Crown Courts throughout the country.

Possession of Offensive Weapon

Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 states:

  1. Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie on him, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable—
    1. on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £200, or
    2. on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or both.
  2. Where any person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section the court may make an order for the offence was committed.
  3. A constable may arrest without warrant any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be committing an offence under subsection (1) of this section, if the constable is not satisfied as to that person's identity or place of residence, or has reasonable cause to believe that it is necessary to arrest him in order to prevent the commission by him of any other offence in the course of committing which an offensive weapon might be used.
  4. In this section “public place” includes any highway, or in the meaning of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 and any other premises or place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise; and “offensive weapon” means any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or by some other person.

Sentencing guidelines for Possession of an offensive weapon

Maximum Sentence: Summary Maximum 6 months and/or £5,000.00 fine
On Indictment 4 years, or fine or both

Possession of a Bladed Article

Section 139 criminal Justice Act 1988 states:

  1. Subject to subsections (4) and (5) below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.
  2. Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.
  3. This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.
  4. It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.
  5. Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—
    1. for use at work;
    2. for religious reasons; or
    3. as part of any national costume.
  6. A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable.

Sentencing guidelines for Possession of a bladed article

Maximum Sentence: Summary Maximum 6 months and/or £5,000.00 fine
On Indictment 4 years, or fine or both

Relevant sentencing case law

R.v. Povey (2008): D pleaded G to having a bladed article—kitchen knife with 6'' blade, and having an offensive weapon—flick‐knife both found in his pocket at 12:45 am. Age 50 yrs with 97 convictions one of which was manslaughter by stabbing victim, and offences of violence. 16 months on each to run concurrently not excessive. The effect of Povey is that a court's primary sentencing principles for this offence are protection of the public, and reduction of these offences by courts passing deterrent sentences.

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