Custody of Knife in Public Place or School
In NSW, being in custody of a knife in a public place or a school is an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and or fines of up to 20 penalty units.
The offence of custody of a knife in a public place or a school is contained in section 11C of the Summary Offences Act 1988 which states: A person must not, without reasonable excuse (proof of which lies on the person), have in his or her custody a knife in a public place or a school.
What Actions Might Constitute Custody of a Knife in a Public Place or School?
A knife is defined as any razor blade or blade in section 3 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW).
You could be charged under this offence if you are carrying on your person, or in your bag, or in a car of which you are in control a knife or blade, without reasonable excuse.
The legislation sets out that a reasonable excuse includes that custody of a knife is necessary because of:
- a person’s occupation/training;
- preparation or consumption of food;
- use in lawful entertainment/recreation/sport;
- exhibition of knives for retail or trade purposes;
- organised exhibition by knife collectors;
- wearing of official uniform;
- genuine religious purposes; or
- during travel to or from or incidental to any of the above activities.
Self-defence or defence of another is not a reasonable excuse.
What must be proven?
To convict you of having custody of a knife, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- you had in your custody a knife
- at the time you were in a public place or a school
- it was without reasonable excuse
They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the custody of a knife offence.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This matter is a summary matter and will be heard in the Local Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.