Practice Areas

Weapons Possession

Weapons Possession Defence Lawyer in Ottawa

The possession of weapons for the purpose of endangering the public’s peace, or with the intention of committing a crime, is considered a criminal offence in Canada.

What is considered a weapon?

Under the law, weapons including restricted items such as crossbows, brass knuckles, and firearms. Any item used to intimidate, threaten, or cause harm can be considered a weapon depending on the circumstances. The prosecution must prove that an item meets the definition of a weapon or falls within the list of prohibited items.

Possession of a weapon as a danger to public peace

The prosecution must prove that there was intent of danger to the public’s peace. This may include a disruption to the state of normalcy, a disturbance to the general order, or peace as provided under the law.

Important points to remember:

  • Having a weapon in your home, like a firearm or a knife, is not automatically considered to be for a purpose dangerous to the public. The court must consider the circumstances surrounding the charges before coming to that conclusion.
  • If you were too intoxicated at the time you were found in possession of a weapon, you may not be found guilty. The prosecutor will have to prove that you possessed the weapon with the purpose or intention of committing a crime or disturbing the peace. This may not be the case if you were too intoxicated to commit the full offence.
  • The possession of a weapon for self-defence is a tricky question. Not all courts have agreed to the lawfulness of this. Some courts may choose to punish you for possession of the weapon while others may do the exact opposite. The facts or circumstances surrounding the case will play an important role in determining the outcome.

Punishments for possessing a weapon

The sentence for possession of weapon that is considered dangerous to the public varies. The maximum sentence is ten years imprisonment, if the case proceeds by indictment. If the case proceeds by summary conviction, the maximum sentence is six months in jail.