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Going Armed In Public

What the law says

Sections 69 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. any person who goes armed in public without lawful occasion in such a manner as to cause fear to any person is guilty of a misdemeanour.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

The accused:

  1. Went armed ( going armed does not require actual movement by the defendant)
  2. In public
  3. In such a manner as to cause fear to (a person or persons)
  4. Without lawful occasion.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Going Armed in Public is 2 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

There is a similar charge under the Weapons Act which can be dealt with by a Magistrate.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. The weapon was used for a lawful purpose i.e. fishing, decoration.
  2. Accused not armed with a weapon
  3. It was not a public place e.g. in a house
  4. Being armed was lawful in all the circumstances
  5. No ordinary person would be likely to be fearful in all the circumstances.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Going Armed in Public matters)


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