Offensive Weapon Possession

The possession of an offensive weapon is a serious crime. If convicted, you could face imprisonment, as well as the knock-on effects on your life, family relationships and career prospects. Having a strong defence to lead your case is imperative in this time of uncertainty.

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors have significant experience providing robust representation for clients facing conviction for possessing an offensive weapon. Seeking expert advice at the soonest opportunity offers a greater chance of reaching a fair outcome.

It is a serious crime to carry an offensive weapon. Regardless of whether it is yours, or even with claims of carrying it for somebody else or self-defence, you will be arrested and prosecuted if police officers find you in possession of an offensive weapon.


What is an offensive weapon?

The CPS defines an offensive weapon as “any article made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person or intended by the person having it with [them] for such use by [them] or by some other person”.

Knives and guns are the most common offensive weapons, and possession of these will result in severe consequences. Anything beyond just possession of these weapons could lead to life imprisonment, so it is crucial to be aware of the consequences of crimes linked to offensive weapons.

If accused of possession of an offensive weapon, or any other offence related to them, it is vital to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible.

The sooner you speak with a solicitor, the better your chances of finding a preferable outcome.

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Knife Crime

The police state that it is illegal to use any knife, legal or banned, in a threatening manner.

It is a criminal offence to sell a knife of any kind to persons under 18 or carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a 3-inch folding blade, such as a Swiss Army Knife.

The possession, sale or purchase of any banned knife is illegal. This includes swords, disguised knives, zombie knives and stealth knives.

If you are charged with carrying a knife, you could face up to 4 years’ imprisonment, even if not used.

Good Reason

Acceptable ‘good reasons’ to carry a knife in public can include the transportation of knives you use at work; taking knives for exhibition at a gallery or museum; or religious, theatre, film or television purposes.

The courts will decide if you have good reason to carry a knife in public.

Guns and Imitation Guns

To possess, purchase or acquire a firearm of any kind, you will need a firearms certificate issued by the police, which you should be able to present if questioned. You also must have a certificate to buy ammunition.

Possession of an offensive weapon such as a firearm, shotgun, or other dangerous air weapons can lead to arrest and prosecution.

There is a minimum 5-year prison sentence for anybody over 18 found in illegal possession of a gun.

Some firearms are entirely prohibited, and only with the authority of the Home Secretary can certain people possess these.

It is against the law for persons under 18 to buy an imitation firearm, just as it is an offence to sell one to somebody under 18.

Experienced Criminal Defence Solicitors

We believe that everybody is entitled to a defence, and so, making contact with our criminal defence team at the first opportunity is crucial to your case.

Our head of Crime & Regulatory, Rachel Fletcher, has over 12 years of broad-ranging experience across all forms of criminal offences. So you can rest assured that she will help you towards an outcome that is fair and realistic.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the sentence for possession of an offensive weapon?
  • What happens if you are caught with a knife?
  • Can under-18s be charged for carrying knives?
  • What happens if you are caught with a gun?
  • What is the charge for causing death with offensive weapons?
  • What is a joint enterprise sentence?

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