Dangerous Goods on Aircraft

In Victoria, Dangerous Goods on Aircraft is found in section 246D of the Crimes Act 1958. It is a criminal offence that is committed by a person who was found to have carried or possessed dangerous goods on board an aircraft. The offence also applies to someone who delivered dangerous goods to someone else to place on board an aircraft.

Have you been accused of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft? If yes, call us to arrange a time to speak with one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers about your options.

Police Interview
Participating in a police interview can be a daunting process. Often the police will have already gathered most if not all the other evidence relevant to their investigation. It is likely that they have already decided to charge you. If you choose to participate in a police interview without proper legal advice, you may say something in the interview that can harm your defence. Police officers are trained to ask questions in a way to trip you up not to clarify your side of what happened.

You should arrange a time to speak with a lawyer at the firm to discuss the interview process before attending an interview. We will be able to explain what will happen at the interview and the types of questions the police will most likely ask you. For the offence of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft, the police may have obtained a significant amount of evidence prior to the interview that they have obtained from other authorities. We can explain how and when such evidence is likely to be presented to you in the interview.

Lawyers from our office can attend a police interview with you. Many people find having a lawyer with then during the interview process makes it more manageable.

Pleading Not Guilty
Our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in contested matters. We will analyse the evidence in the case and give you advice on the best way to defend yourself against the charges.

Our highly experienced defence lawyers will consider all avenues such as whether there is an identity argument arguable on the evidence the police have (i.e. it was not you who brought dangerous goods onto the aircraft) or whether the goods you allegedly brought onto the aircraft were in fact ‘dangerous goods’. We will advise you how to best fight the charges after carefully appraising the evidence.

Pleading Guilty
If you decide to plead guilty to the offence of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft, we can assist you with preparing a thorough and considered plea in mitigation.

People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that if they are pleading guilty, they do not need a lawyer’s assistance. This is not the case. We can assist you with preparing evidence to explain the offending to the court and the impact that pleading guilty to this offence will have on you. We can also assist in referring you to specific courses, gathering character evidence and preparing submissions to the court we would make on your behalf.

A considered plea will significantly mitigate the sentence you would otherwise receive.

Examples of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft
  • A woman carries a kitchen knife in her hand luggage as she boards an aircraft
  • A boy has a pocket knife in his jacket while on board an aircraft
  • A man delivers a gun to another man intending that the gun would be used to hijack an aircraft
Defences
  • You did not possess the dangerous goods
  • The goods could not endanger the safety of an aircraft or persons on board an aircraft
  • The owner or operator of the aircraft knew about the nature of the goods and consented to the goods being brought on board
  • Permission was granted under the Air Navigation Regulations of the Commonwealth
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
  • Were the goods dangerous goods?
  • Did you intend for them to be on board a plane (did you forget that you had them with you)?
Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge
The maximum penalty for the offence of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft (s246D of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 6 imprisonment (5 years).

This is a strictly indictable charge which means that your case must be heard in the County Court.

Legislation
The section that covers this offence is section 246D of the Crimes Act 1958.

What is the legal definition of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft?
Possessing, carrying or placing dangerous goods on board an aircraft. Delivering dangerous goods to a person for the purpose of their being placed on board an aircraft.

“Did you forget you had it on you?”

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Your sentence will depend on the kind of dangerous good you possessed and what you intended to do with it. In the most severe circumstance, where someone has for example an explosive device in their possession on board an aircraft, they are likely to face imprisonment. In the least severe circumstance, where for example a person has deliberately hidden a sharp nail file or knitting needle in their luggage, a fine is more likely.