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Using of Firearms in the Commission of Offences

In Victoria, the Use of Firearms in the Commission of Offences is in section 31A of the Crimes Act 1958 Vic, which is where a firearm or imitation firearm was used to carry out an indictable offence.

Have you been accused of Using a Firearm in the Commission of an Offence? This is a serious allegation and you must receive legal advice about how to deal with such an allegation.
A man pointing a gun at a man in a vehicle
Our criminal lawyers specialise in criminal defence work and have successfully represented many people accused Use of Firearms in the Commission of Offences.

Police interview
The purpose of the Police interview is for the Police to get admissions from you. It is not an opportunity for you to explain your side of the story and hope that the Police will leave you alone. Therefore, it is important that you speak with one of our lawyers before you speak with the Police. Anything you tell the Police can be used in evidence against you or assist the Police investigation against you. We can advise you about what should be said during a Police interview. You may be wondering:

  • Should I explain my side of the story?
  • Should I deny the allegations?
  • Do I provide Police with my DNA if they request it?
  • Will I be remanded?
  • Will the Police leave me alone if I ignore them?
Our lawyers also offer a service of attending the Police station with clients to sit on the Police interview.

Pleading not guilty
We are defence lawyers who specialise in defending all charges including allegations that Firearms have been Used in the Commission of an Offence. Our lawyers work closely with in-house who can devise a case strategy for you.

Our lawyers are proactive in their approach and will consider:

  • Is there relevant CCTV footage?
  • Is there DNA evidence?
  • Are there people who the Police have not spoken to who can shed some light on this case?
  • Is there helpful evidence for your case which needs to be preserved?
The answer to these questions can lead to a charge of the Use of Firearms in the Commission of Offences being withdrawn before the trial or an acquittal.

Preparing a case strategy early will increase the chances of preserving valuable evidence which can help your case later on.

Pleading guilty
Pleading guilty to an allegation of the Use of Firearms in the Commission of Offences is a serious charge and in most cases results in a prison sentence. Therefore, you must speak with one of our lawyers before agreeing to plead guilty to the Use of Firearms in the Commission of Offences. Our experienced lawyers can:

  • Explain what penalty you should expect,
  • Help you gather an expert report,
  • Help you gather character references,
  • Take the time to carefully listen to your story to prepare plea submissions,
  • Represent you at your plea hearing,
Call us and discuss how to get the best result.
This sort of charge is heard in the County Court.
Examples of Using of Firearms in the Commission of Offences
  • A person uses a gun to intimidate a rival shop owner by shooting bullets at their front window.
  • A person accused of dealing illicit drugs is found to be in possession of a hand gun.
  • An assault is captured on CCTV footage and a person can be seen to use a hand gun to threaten and assault a victim.
What is the legal definition of Using of Firearms in the Commission of Offences?
Use of firearms in the commission of offences
  1. A person who is found guilty of an indictable offence and who carried—
    1. a firearm (within the meaning of the Firearms Act 1996); or
    2. an imitation firearm (within the meaning of section 29(3)(b))—
    when committing the offence is guilty of a further offence and is liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).
  2. Despite anything to the contrary in the Sentencing Act 1991 or in any other law, a court, in imposing a penalty under subsection (1)—
    1. must direct that the sentence not be served concurrently with any other sentence; and
    2. must not make an order suspending the whole or any part of the sentence.
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 31A of Crimes Act 1958.

Elements of the offence
In essence, to prove this charge in Court, the Prosecution must show that the accused was found guilty of an indictable offence and was carrying a firearm, or an imitation firearm, at the time when the offence was committed.
Defences that are often used against this charge are factual disputes, wrongful identification, lack of intent, or mental impairment.

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

Questions in cases like this
  • In what way was the firearm used?
  • What it a firearm?

If proven guilty of Using of Firearms in the Commission of Offences (s31A of the Crimes Act 1958), the court may imposed a maximum penalty of level 6 imprisonment (5 years).