Common Defences To A Firearm Charge In Canada

October 21, 2020

Common Defences To A Firearm Charge In Canada

The best possible defence to your firearm offence-related charge primarily depends on the nature of the weapon you were using, and also on the specific circumstance of your criminal case. Nonetheless, some common defences, if you are charged with a firearm offence in Canada, are:

Meeting Expected Standard Of Care In Firearm Use Offence

Usually, under these cases, criminal liability arises from the allegation that you deliberately deviated from the standard of care required of you in the specified circumstances of your alleged crime. Your criminal defence lawyer can help overcome this element of the offence by exhibiting that while utilising your weapon, you took all the precautions required to ensure the people around you where safe.

In an alternative way, you may be able to demonstrate that, based on all the information available to you during the alleged crime, you couldn’t have possibly known that your use of a firearm caused danger to the people nearby.

Gathering Evidence Through An Illegal Search

Any evidence regarding illegal use of a firearm against you must be gathered following a due process, along with a legal search. If the search made was unlawful, your criminal defence attorney could argue for determining that particular evidence inadmissible in your trial. If your argument is valid, the Crown will have no evidence against you to convict you of the alleged offence, resulting in your acquittal.

Suppose you get charged with possession or an offence related to a firearm. In that case, your expert lawyer could argue that there’s insufficient evidence that you possessed or handled your weapon for a dangerous purpose. If your legal team can demonstrate that there’s a doubt as to whether you had the firearm for a potentially harmful reason, you may be able to overcome your criminal charge.

Like other firearm offences, your lawyer can overcome your criminal charges if you can show to the court that the evidence was collected using an illegal search. Let’s say that you are charged with a firearm-related possession offence after the police officer searched your car without lawful authority; you can get that evidence excluded from your trial.

If you are successful in your argument, the Crown will have no credible evidence to convict you of your alleged offence. However, suppose you get charged with a firearm possession for a harmful purpose or without proper authorisation. In that case, you should expect that a forfeiture hearing will precede or follow your criminal trial.

Being Unaware Of A Firearm Possession

Your criminal lawyer can also argue against a possession charge by showing that you didn’t know that you had any weapon in your possession. Since the Crown Prosecutor needs to demonstrate that you were aware of the weapon’s presence to secure a conviction against you, your legal team can defend this by showing that you didn’t know the firearm was in your possession or near you.

However, suppose the Crown goes on to argue or demonstrate that you were ‘willfully blind’ of the firearms presence in your possession. In that case, the court might still find you guilty of firearm possession even if you didn’t know that you had a gun in your vicinity.

Slaferek Callihoo is a notable criminal defence law firm based in Edmonton, Alberta, which successfully defends all major types of criminal offences. Visit our website to read more about our professional legal services or contact us for legal advice.

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