Using Firearms to Resist Arrest
– section 29 of the Crimes Act 1958
Resisting arrest with a firearm or imitation firearm is an extremely serious charge and will usually lead to a prison term if you are found guilty.
Examples of Using Firearms to Resist Arrest
- Pointing a gun at Police to avoid apprehension
- Pointing an imitation firearm to avoid apprehension
- Pointing a gun at Police to assist another person from being arrested
Questions in cases like this
- Did you possess a firearm or imitation firearm?
- Did you use the firearm or imitation firearm to resist arrest?
- Did the Police attempt to execute a lawful arrest?
What are some of the possible defences to Using Firearms to Resist Arrest?
If you have been charged with this offence, you may rely on the following defences:
- Factual dispute;
- You were not aware that Police were attempting to arrest you;
- The arrest was not lawful;
- The Police cannot prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.
If you have been charged with this offence, you should call us to discuss your case with one of our lawyers. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has huge consequences for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.
Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge
Any person found guilty of this offence may be sentenced to a maximum penalty of level 5 imprisonment (10 years) or a fine of 1,200 penalty units (around $193,000). As this is a strictly indictable offence, it will only be heard in the County Court.
What is the legal definition of Using Firearms to Resist Arrest?
A ‘firearm’ is defined by the Firearms Act 1996 as a barrel, breech, pistol slide, frame, receiver, cylinder, trigger mechanism, operating mechanism or magazine designed as, or reasonably capable of forming, part of a firearm.
Section 29(3)(b) of the Crimes Act defines an ‘imitation firearm’ anything which has the appearance of being a firearm whether or not it is capable of discharging any shot or other missile.
The legislation for this offence can be found on section 29 of Crimes Act 1958.
Elements of the offence
To prove this charge, the Prosecution must demonstrate the following elements, beyond reasonable doubt:
- the accused was being arrested; and
- produced a gun to prevent the arrest.
“Can the Prosecution prove that you possessed a firearm?”
Other important resources
- VCC summaries – firearms offences: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017, arranged by severity of total effective sentence