There are many weapon-related offences in the Criminal Code that cover a wide range of criminal activities. These include using a firearm in the commission of an offence, pointing a firearm, possessing a firearm for a dangerous purpose, and even the unsafe storage of a firearm.
However, weapons offences also include violations that involve other deadly weapons such as explosives and certain knives. Read on to see how a lawyer specializing in weapons offences and firearms possessions can help.
Common Charges Related to Weapons Offences
The area of weapons offence law includes the following possible charges:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Unauthorized possession of a firearm
- Possession of an unauthorized, restricted, or prohibited firearm
- Weapons trafficking
- Assault with a deadly weapon
Penalties for Weapons Charges
Weapons charges carry different penalties depending on the type and severity of the crime:
- Careless gun storage or handing – Six months plus a $5,000 fine to two years in prison
- Pointing a firearm – Six months plus a $5,000 fine to five years in prison
- Carrying a concealed weapon – Six months and a $5,000 fine to five years in prison
- Weapons for public danger – Six months and a $5,000 fine up to 10 years in prison
- Possession of an unauthorized firearm – One year to ten years in prison
- Possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition – One year and a $5,000 fine to 10 years in prison
Frequently Asked Questions About Weapons Offences Charges in Alberta
1. What if I was intoxicated while in possession of a weapon?
In these cases, the Crown Prosecutor must prove that you not only possessed the weapon but also intended to disturb the peace of commit a crime. If you were too intoxicated to form the specific intent acquired to commit the full offence, you may not be convicted.
2. What if I possess a weapon for self-defense?
In some courts, the possession of a weapon for self-defense does not necessitate an offence of possession for the purpose of endangering the public. However, some trial judges may draw the opposite conclusion. The answer to this question depends entirely on the circumstances leading to the charge.
3. What exactly is a weapon?
Firearms and other illegal objects, such as brass knuckles and crossbows, constitute weapons in the eyes of the law. Other items, such as pocket knives or hunting knives, are considered weapons if they are used or designed to be used to cause injury or death.
4. What is the best defence for a weapons charge?
If you legally own a weapon, a charge can arise from allegations that you deliberately deviated from the care required of you to ensure the people around you are safe.
You can defend against this charge by proving that you took all necessary precautions or that you couldn’t have known that your use of the weapon could cause danger to those nearby.
Also, if the search leading to the weapons charged was conducted illegally, you can argue that the evidence is inadmissible in trial.
I’ve Been Charged With a Weapons Offence. What Should I Do?
Contact a lawyer immediately. DDSG Criminal Law has a number of expert lawyers with years of experience in this area. Contact us today to learn more.