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Section 27D of the Summary Offences Act provides that: "A person must not, without reasonable excuse (proof of which lies on the person), have in his or her possession an offensive weapon or instrument in a place of detention".
The maximum penalty for a charge under section 27D is a fine of 50 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment. This matter is a summary matter. This means that it can only be dealt with in the Local Court.
The Court will, in addition to any penalty it may impose, make an order that the offensive weapon or instrument be forfeited to the Crown.
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:
You'll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.
On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:
|Law Part||Short Description|
|38735||Possess offensive weapon/instrument in a place of detention|
To convict you of an "unlawful possession of offensive weapons or instruments" charge, the Police must prove, beyond reasonable doubt:
The onus is on you to prove that you did have a reasonable excuse to have the weapon or instrument in your possession.
Possible defences to a possession of offensive weapon in place of detention charge include but are not limited to:
Intensive correction order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.
Periodic detention (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.
Suspended sentence: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.
Community service order(CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.
Good behaviour bond: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.
Fines: When deciding the amount of a fine for a possession of offensive weapon in place of detention charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.
Section 10: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.