Section 88 of the Criminal Code makes it illegal to carry a knife if the crown can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the purpose of an accused carrying the knife was dangerous to the public peace or that the accused’s purpose of carrying the knife was for committing an offence. The exact section states that:
(1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
o (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
o (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Section two of the Criminal Code defines what a weapon is very broadly. This definition is broad enough to include a knife. It states:
weapon means any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use
• (a) in causing death or injury to any person, or
• (b) for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person
and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a firearm and, for the purposes of sections 88, 267 and 272, any thing used, designed to be used or intended for use in binding or tying up a person against their will.
Section 88 (2) makes this an hybrid offence. This means that depending on the facts of each case, the Crown will choose either to proceed summarily or by indictment. If the Crown chooses to proceed by way of indictment, the maximum penalty allowed for possession of a weapon for a danger purpose is a 10-year imprisonment term. If the Crown choose to proceed by summary, the maximum penalty is 6 months in prison, a maximum $5000 fine, or both. Each of these offences may also include an order prevent you from possessing a firearm, restricted weapon, ammunition, or a prohibited weapon.
Additionally, you may be charged for carrying a knife by section 89 of the Criminal Code. It sates:
89 (1) Every person commits an offence who, without lawful excuse, carries a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition while the person is attending or is on the way to attend a public meeting.
(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
The difference between section 88 and 89 of the Criminal Code in that section 89 requires that you were either at a public meeting or on your way to one. Also, unlike section 88, section 89 does not require the crown to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that that you have the intention of using the weapon in a dangerous manner or that you had intention of using the weapon at all.
A conviction for possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose has a lot of impact on you and your future. It may have negative consequences when obtaining employment and will prevent you from travelling to the United States. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Call Kostman and Pyzer Barristers to ensure your rights are protected.