Legal Services

Firearm Offences in Victoria

Firearm Offence Criminal Lawyers in Melbourne

If you’ve been charged with a firearm offence, our expert lawyers are here to help. We have years of experience advising and representing clients in all kinds of firearm related matters before the Magistrates’ and County Courts in Victoria.

firearm offences victoria | sentencing for firearms offences | unlawful possession of a firearm sentence

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Who is in charge of the Sentencing for Firearm Offences in Victoria?

The Firearms Act 1996 (Vic) is the main piece of legislation in regard to firearm offences in Victoria. However, other firearm related offences can be found under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic).

Generally, the charges that the police lay in firearm matters depends on:

  • The category of firearm involved; and
  • The licence held by the accused (or lack thereof).

Less serious firearm charges are known as summary offences. These types of offences are dealt with in the Magistrates Court and can carry a maximum penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment. Serious indictable offences are heard in the County Court and carry a maximum penalty of more than 2 years imprisonment.

If you have been charged or are under investigation for a firearm offence, please contact Sher Criminal Lawyers immediately. Our team of criminal defence experts specialises in firearm matters and is here to help you. We have years of experience advising and representing clients before the Magistrates’ and County Courts of Victoria. Our lawyers are available 24/7 and offer free consultations by way of Zoom, Facetime or in person at our Melbourne and Moorabbin offices.

The Court Procedure for Firearm Offences in Victoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have been charged with a summary firearm offence, your matter will be heard in the Magistrates Court of Victoria. Summary matters may involve several complex stages of case preparation and court procedure, including:

  • Police Questioning
  • Filing of Charges
  • First Mention Hearing
  • Summary Case Conference
  • Contest Mention
  • Contested Hearing

If you plead guilty to the summary firearm charges, your matter may be heard and finalised in one day. However, if you plead not guilty, the prosecution must prove each element of the relevant offence beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution’s failure to do so will result in the accused being found not guilty of that charge.

Obtaining expert legal advice in regard to summary firearm charges is crucial. Our team of specialist criminal lawyers can advise you of your legal options and represent you in the Magistrates Court to secure the best possible outcome.

If you have been charged with an indictable firearm offence, your matter might start in the Magistrates Court, but it may be finalised in the County Court. Indictable matters may involve several complex stages of case preparation and court procedure, including:

  • Police Interview
  • Committal Proceedings
  • Plea Hearing
  • Pre-trial Disclosure
  • Directions Hearing
  • Arraignment
  • Trial
  • Sentencing Hearing

Indictable cases can be heard summarily in the Magistrates Court under certain circumstances. If a charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 or fewer years imprisonment, it can be heard summarily with the consent of the accused and the Magistrates approval. It may also be possible for an experienced criminal lawyer to negotiate alternative firearm charges with the prosecution, which could result in the matter being heard in the Magistrates Court.

If you plead not guilty, the prosecution must prove each element of the relevant offence beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution’s failure to do so will result in the accused being found not guilty of that charge.

Obtaining expert legal advice in regard to indictable firearm charges is crucial. Our team of specialist criminal lawyers can advise you of your legal options and represent you in the County Court to secure the best possible outcome.

Things to Consider When Charged with a Firearm Offence in Victoria

Different firearm offences require different elements to be proven. If all of the elements for a particular offence cannot be proven, the accused cannot be held legally liable for committing that offence. This is why it is important to seek the help of a criminal lawyer who specialises in firearm charges. Our expert defence team at Sher Criminal Lawyers is highly experienced at defending firearm charges before the Magistrates and County Courts of Victoria. We are here to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your matter.

Things for the Accused to Consider

Our specialist team at Sher Criminal Lawyers can answer your questions and provide you with expert advice and representation in your firearm matter. We will explain your legal options to you by answering important questions such as:

  • Is it possible to have my licence suspension or cancellation overturned?
  • Is there a legal defence I can rely on in my firearm matter?
  • Does the prosecution have enough evidence to prove my firearm charge?
  • How will the circumstances of the offence affect the outcome of my matter?
  • What is the likely result if I plead guilty or not guilty?
  • Is it possible to have my charges negotiated to a lesser offence?
Things that the Court Must Consider

If your matter is taken to Court, the Magistrate or Judge will have to consider a wide range of factors that might prove you to be guilty or not guilty. In all firearm matters, our experienced team at Sher Criminal Lawyers prepares the best possible defence by considering factors such as:

  • The reason and circumstances behind why you potentially committed an offence;
  • The category of firearm involved;
  • The number of firearms involved;
  • Your knowledge of firearm laws;
  • Intent;
  • Any other elements of the offence noted in the relevant legislation.

Penalties and Sentencing for Firearm Offences in Victoria

The Victorian Courts take firearm charges seriously. Summary firearm offences heard in the Magistrates’ Court can carry a maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment. The most serious indictable firearm offences noted above carry a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

The specific penalty for an offence is stipulated in the relevant legislation.

Penalties in relation to firearm charges may include:

  • A fine
  • A Good Behaviour Bond (Adjourned Undertaking)
  • Suspension of a firearm licence
  • Cancellation of a firearm licence
  • A criminal conviction
  • A Community Corrections Order
  • Imprisonment

What to Do If You Are Charged with an Offence such as Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

If you have been charged or are under investigation for a firearm offence such as unlawful possession, please contact Sher Criminal Lawyers immediately. We specialise in firearm matters and understand the legal intricacies of the Firearms Act 1996 (Vic). Our expert defence team can advise and represent you in matters before the Magistrates and County Courts of Victoria. We can also help you dispute the suspension or cancellation of your firearms licence.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialist criminal lawyers. We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations by way of Zoom, Facetime or in person at our Melbourne and Moorabbin offices.

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Charged with a Criminal Offence or Under Investigation?

We are available 24/7 and here to help

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