Control or Use of Dangerous Articles
In Victoria, control or use of dangerous articles in a public place carries a maximum penalty of 6 months’ imprisonment or 60 penalty units. If the person is in or in the vicinity of a licenced premises there is a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment or 120 penalty units.
A Court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Community Corrections Orders
- Adjourned undertaking
The Offence of Control or Use of Dangerous Articles:
The offence of control or use of dangerous articles is contained in section 7 of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 which states:
- A person must not in a public place possess or carry a dangerous article without lawful excuse;
- A person who is in licenced premises or in a public place that is in the immediate vicinity of licenced premises must not possess or carry a dangerous article without lawful excuse.
What is a Dangerous Article?
Victoria has a very broad definition of dangerous article. The Control of Weapons Act 1990 states that a dangerous article means:
- An article which has been adapted or modified so as to be capable of being used as a weapon; or,
- Any other article which is carried with the intention of being used as a weapon.
What Actions Might Constitute Control or Use of Dangerous Articles?
- Being in possession of a wooden baseball bat with nails sticking out of it;
- Carrying a broken beer bottle to the pub;
- Holding a “rubber glove gun”.
What the Police Must Prove:
To convict you of control or use of dangerous articles, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
You either controlled or used:
- A dangerous article;
- In a public place or a licensed premises;
- Without a lawful excuse.
Possible Defences for Control Or Use Of Dangerous Articles:
- Lack of intent/honest and reasonable mistake;
- The item does not fall within the definition of a dangerous article;
- Lawful excuse;
- Pursuit of lawful employment, duty or activity;
- Participation in lawful sport, recreation or entertainment;
- Legitimate collection, display or exhibition of the article;
- Using the article for the purpose which it is designed or intended.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This is a summary matter and will be heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.