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Weapons Charges In Canada

What You Should Know

 

The Canadian Criminal Code, under the category of Firearms and Other Weapons provides an extensive list of offenses that relate to the use of devices that can be possessed with the intent of inflicting harm on another human being.

 

Restricted Handguns

This of course includes a list of specific devices that are considered prohibited or restricted, as for example, a handgun which has a barrel equal in length to less than 105 mm or that is adapted to discharge a 25 or 32 cartridge and is thereby prohibited by s. 84. (1) of the Code or any firearm that is adapted from a rifle or shotgun where it has been sawed off, cut or altered in any fashion such that it is less than 660 mm in length and is therefore similarly prohibited.

Handguns can additionally be consider restricted when, for example, the barrel is less than 470 mm in length and it is capable of discharging centre-fire ammunition in a semi-automatic manner.

Additionally, there is a huge body of provisions and regulations that govern the use and possession of other potentially offensive devices. The above are just two small samples that come to mind.

Consideration of the specific provisions of these many sections that relate to various weapons is something that we, Stephen Hebscher and Bruce Karten at The Criminal Law Team pay special attention to when considering possible defenses to charges that include robbery, aggravated assault, attempt murder and many other crimes of violence in addition to the issues that are involved in defending the weapons charges themselves.

Over 60 years of criminal court experience in preparing for the defense of our clients in serious crimes of violence helps us to identify the elements in the Prosecution`s case that can best be attacked to assist us in bringing the allegations against them to a successful conclusion and in the shortest possible time.

 

Common Weapons

But the most common weapons charges that our clients face usually involve articles of every day use, such as a household item, for example a broom stick or in the case of a tavern, a bottle or a glass. The list of possibilities is of course endless.

In the domestic context, the charge of possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace is often accompanied by an additional charge of domestic assault and possibly threaten bodily harm or death.

As we have explained in other sections of this site, police officials have very little discretion in whether or not to lay charges in cases involving husbands and wives or boyfriends and girlfriends and it is therefore imperative that should you find yourself on the wrong end of such an investigation, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding liability by exercising your Charter right to remain silent and call The Criminal Law Team at your very first opportunity.

 

Any Object Can Become a Weapon

It is also worth understanding that any object can become a weapon depending upon the nature of its use and that even in circumstances where that object is not actually used to inflict bodily harm or injury, the offense can be made out if the purpose for which the object was picked up could be inferred from the context of what was happening at the time.

So for example, if a heated argument ensued between the parties in the kitchen area of a residence, and the “offending” individual picked up a coffee mug and held it in a menacing fashion while gesturing or using language that indicated animosity toward the other party, the charge of possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public and possibly threatening bodily harm could be made out.

On the other hand, if that same coffee mug was not actually used in a manner that inflicted injury and was in the lawful possession of one of the parties before the argument broke out, it may well be that the article was not initially taken possession of for a dangerous purpose and an accused person would ultimately be found not guilty of the charge as laid.

Are You Facing Weapons Charges?

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Our Goal Is To Have The Charges Withdrawn

In short, context is everything and the members of The Criminal Law Team ( Bruce Karten and Stephen Hebscher ) are thoroughly versed in the principles of law and trial tactics that will serve you best if you find yourself caught up in the entanglements of the criminal justice system.

We understand the serious implications of not only the penalties provided for by law but the hardship that often follows the acquisition of a criminal record for any offense and all the more so for an allegation of the use or possession of a weapon.

Our goal is always to obtain a withdrawal of the charges before trial and when a trial is the preferred way to go, we get the greatest satisfaction from hearing our two favourite words in the world of court procedure……. NOT GUILTY.

Please see our testimonials to understand why our clients have trusted us and valued our services so highly over the years.

For more details regarding specific Canadian Criminal Code regarding weapons offences and the penalties for weapons offences, please see our related article:  Defending Weapons Charges in Canada.

Related Case Reviews

R. v. L.C. ( 2012 ), North York Court – 65 year old man charged with assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public as a result of a work-place dispute. Defense Counsel, was able to show that the alleged victim in this case, provoked the hostile interaction that led to the charges being laid and uncovered material that suggested this same individual had a history of prior, similar behaviour and had lied about the circumstances involved. The Prosecution withdrew all charges without the need of the allegations proceeding to trial.

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