Sydney Office

Level 35
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Melbourne Office

Level 4
99 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Brisbane Office

Level 5
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000

Canberra Office

Level 5
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601

Armstrong Legal Logo

Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions

Copyright © 2017 Armstrong Legal. All rights reserved.


Phone 1300 168 676


Toggle Menu Menu

Possession, supply or making of explosives


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW it is an offence to possess, supply or make an explosive.

A person can be charged with this offence if they are in possession of an explosive in a public place. The maximum penalty for the offence is 5 years imprisonment.

A person can also be charged with a lesser offence if they possess, supply or make an explosive. They can be charged with this offence whether or not they are in a public place. The maximum penalty for this offence is 3 years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:


The offence of Possess, Supply or Make Explosive is contained in section 93FA of the Crimes Act 1900 and states:

  • A person who possesses an explosive in a public place is guilty of an offence.
    • Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 5 years.
  • A person who possesses, supplies or makes an explosive, under circumstances that give rise to a reasonable suspicion that the person did not possess, supply or make the explosive for a lawful purpose, is guilty of an offence.
    • Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for 3 years or 50 penalty units, or both.


Examples of Possess, Supply or Make Explosive include:

  • Mixing aluminium nitrate and fuel oil to film you and your friends blowing something up;
  • Carrying a stick of dynamite to the park in your backpack; or
  • Purchasing an explosive online for your friend in exchange for $20.


To convict you of Possess, Supply or Make Explosive the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • That you were either:
    • in possession of an explosive and in a public place; or
    • That you made, supplied or possessed an explosive.


The common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To maintain your innocence if you did not commit the act;
  • To argue that you were not ‘in possession’ of the explosive or that you were not in a public place;
  • To argue that you did not make, supply or possess an explosive;
  • To argue that you had a reasonable excuse for possessing the explosive;
  • To argue that you were in possession of the dangerous article for a lawful purpose; or
  • To raise necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.


The charge is a table two offence which means that the matter will be finalised in the Local Court unless the Director of Public Prosecutions elects to have the matter finalised in the District Court.

If the matter is finalised in the Local Court the court can only impose a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty for this charge and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention: Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. Read more.

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 possessing or making an explosive 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.

where to next?

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.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Law 9000 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law CorpINTL Hitwise Top 10 Website Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011