Specialist Lawyers for Knife Crime

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Knife Offence Lawyers for Criminal Defence to Knife Possession & Crimes

If you are found to be carrying a knife you may face criminal charges, with a maximum prison sentence of four years and an unlimited fine. Even if you had no intention to use the knife, you can still be prosecuted just for having it in your possession. If you have been arrested for carrying a knife, or are facing prosecution, it is vital that you seek expert legal advice as early as possible.

Here at Clifford Johnston & Co, our team of criminal defence solicitors have the experience and expertise necessary to represent you as you face charges for possession of a knife. We endeavour to uncover all available evidence to support your defence, with the aim to lessen your sentence or see the charges against you dropped altogether.

What types of knives can I be prosecuted for carrying?

It is illegal to use any knife in a threatening way, and it is also illegal to carry most knives in public without good reason, and sell knives to anyone under 18 years of age. The exception to these rules applies to folding pocket knives which are not lock knives, and have a cutting edge no longer than three inches.

In the UK there are a variety of knives and bladed weapons that are banned, including:

  • Butterfly knife: A blade enclosed within its handle which splits down the middle to reveal the knife without mechanical means
  • Disguised knife: A blade hidden inside a commonly carried object such as a pen, lipstick, lighter, or phone
  • Flick knife: A weapon whereby the blade is released from the handle with the press of a button or by gravity
  • Shuriken: Also known as a throwing star, this is a hard plate with 3 or more sharp points, designed to be thrown
  • Stealth knife: A blade or spike made from material that goes undetected by a metal detector
  • Sword: A curved blade over 50 centimetres long from the tip of the blade to the top of the handle
  • Swordstick: A hollow cane or walking stick containing a blade
  • Zombie knife: A knife with a serrated edge, a cutting edge, and words or images implying it is used for violence

This list is not exhaustive, and there are a number of other types of blades and weapons which are banned in the UK. Possession of any such weapon, whether you intend to use it or not, can lead to you being arrested and criminally charged.

What is the defence if you are charged with carrying a knife?

The defence options available to us will depend on the circumstances of your case, so it is important that you are cooperative and forthcoming when dealing with our criminal defence solicitors to ensure that we have all the details to build a strong defence.

Carrying a banned weapon will always result in criminal charges, but carrying a knife which is not banned may be defendable. One of the key lines of defence for carrying a knife in public is to show that you were carrying it with good reason.

Examples of good reasons to be in possession of a knife include:

  • Transporting a knife used at work either to or from your workplace
  • Transporting a knife to a museum or gallery to be exhibited
  • Carrying a knife that will be used for a theatrical, television or film production
  • Carrying a knife for religious purposes, for example the kirpan carried by some Sikhs
  • Carrying a knife as part of a national costume

Our highly experienced solicitors have a detailed understanding of the legislation surrounding the possession of a knife and the possible defence routes, so you can be assured that all available avenues will be explored. It is always our aim to see the charges against you dropped, or lessen the severity of punishment you receive where a conviction is unavoidable. We will put forward the best possible defence case to the court, and it is then up to the judge to decide whether you were carrying the knife for good reason or carrying it illegally.

What Factors Can Affect Sentencing For Knife Crime?

If you are found guilty of committing a knife crime or possession of a bladed weapon, you will receive a sentence in proportion to your crime. However, when the sentence is being deliberated upon, there are a number of potential mitigating and aggravating factors that the court may take into consideration, these include:

Mitigating factors

  • No previous criminal convictions
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • Cooperation with the authorities
  • Mental health disorder or learning difficulty
  • Is the primary carer for dependant relatives

Aggravating factors

  • Offence committed whilst on bail
  • Offence committed as part of a gang
  • Offence committed whilst under the influence
  • Defendant attempted to conceal their identity
  • Defendant attempted to dispose of or conceal evidence

If you are found guilty of carrying a knife and there are no aggravating factors, you may receive a fine instead of a custodial sentence. However, if there are aggravating factors involved, you may be fined up to a maximum of £5,000 and receive a minimum six months custodial sentence.

Contact our Lawyers for Knife Crime today

We are proud to offer expert criminal law services nationally which are affordable and cost-effective.

By choosing to work with us, you will have an exceptional team fighting your corner.

Our Lawyers for Assault Charges have an exceptional level of expertise in knife crime cases and are an integral department within our law firm of Criminal Solicitors in Manchester.

Talk to Clifford Johnston & Co. today.

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