Control of Body Armour

The offence of Controlling Body Armour is found in section 8A of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 in Victoria. It is a criminal offence for a person to be in possession of, using, manufacturing, selling, or buying body armour. It also applies to people who bring or are involved in bringing body armour into Victoria.

Have you been accused of Control of Body Armour? You should speak with one of experienced criminal defence lawyers before you speak with the Police. Anything you tell the Police without proper advice could harm your defence later on.

Police Interview
It is worth noting that the purpose of the Police interview is for the investigating officer to gather information or elicit admissions from you. The answers and comments you make during the Police interview will appear in the brief of evidence against you. This will determine how your case is run. It is usually not the time for you to explain yourself and tell your side of the story. You have different choices in a Police Interview. It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer before any interview to discuss your rights and decide the best option for you.

Pleading Not Guilty
We have many lawyers who are experienced in fighting charges of Control of Body Armour. We know how to carefully read the police brief of evidence and the issues to look for. The police might have missed important information or there may not be enough evidence to support the charge.

Our firm has in-house counsel who appears at contested hearings and trials. You can have the benefit of having two lawyers working on your case from the beginning developing a case strategy.

Pleading Guilty
If you decide to plead guilty to Control of Body Armour, there is significant work that can be done to achieve the best sentence possible. Sometimes the summary can be changed to remove more harmful allegations. We work with you to collect references from your friends and family and can recommend relevant counselling or courses.

Which court will the case be heard in?
As this is a summary offence this case will be heard by the Magistrates’ Court.

What is the legal definition of Control of Body Armour?
Without an exemption, a person brings body armour into Victoria or causes body armour to be brought into Victoria; or a person manufactures, sells, buys, possess or uses body armour.

Examples of Control of Body Armour
Without an exemption:

  • You buy, sell or possess a bullet proof vest
  • You possess or manufacture shields or protective armour
“Did you possess body armour?”

The section that covers this offence is section 8A of the Control of Weapons Act 1958.

Elements of the offence
The Prosecution must establish the following offences beyond reasonable doubt for an accused to be found guilty of Control of Body Armour:

  1. The accused brought body armour into Victoria; or
  2. The accused caused body armour to be brought or sent to Victoria; or
  3. The accused manufactured, sold, or purchased body armour; or
  4. The accused possessed or used body armour; and
  5. The accused was without exemption from doing so under section 8B or an approval under section 8C of Control of Weapons Act 1990.
  • You did not possess the body armour
  • You have an exemption for the body armour
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Was it really ‘body armour’?
  • What are the exemptions and do they apply to me?
Maximum penalty of section 8A of the Control of Weapons Act 1990
The maximum penalty for the offence of Control of Body Armour (section 8A of the Control of Weapons Act 1990) is a fine of 240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years.

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Your sentence will depend on the type of body armour and how much of it was in your possession.