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Possession of an Offensive Weapon

Possession of an offensive weapon is a serious offence. If convicted, you could face up to 4 years’ imprisonment, as well as problems finding work in the future and the impact on your family. It’s therefore essential to have the very best legal advice and representation at every stage of criminal proceedings.


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Our criminal defence solicitors have been supporting people accused of weapon offences for more than 40 years. We can advise and represent you from your first contact with the police, through investigation and prosecution where required.

By offering clear, practical guidance and sympathetic support, we aim to make this difficult time easier on you while giving you the best chance of securing the right outcome.

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Why choose JD Spicer Zeb?

  • 1000's of Cases Dropped
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  • 100's of Years Combined Experience
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We have a strong track record of helping clients to avoid charges for possession of an offensive weapon, as well as getting charges dropped early in an investigation. If you are charged and your case goes to trial, we can ensure you the strongest possible defence and best representation available.

If you have been arrested or charged with possession of an offensive weapon, you can contact us 24-hours a day, seven days a week for an immediate free initial consultation, expert legal advice and representation.

We speak a variety of languages across our team and work with a number of accredited interpreters, so can offer you clear legal advice in any language, helping to protect your legal rights and give you the best possible defence. We are available to clients all over England and Wales for round the clock support.

For a free initial consultation on dealing with an arrest or charge of possessing an offensive weapon, please contact our local offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester.

Need immediate legal support for possession of an offensive weapon? Our accredited Police Station Representatives and solicitors are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year using the emergency numbers listed at the top of the page.

How can we help?

Common questions

We always work with the most experienced and best leading UK barristers, KCs (Kings Counsel). We cover all criminal cases 24/7 at the police station and court. Offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester cover cases across England and Wales. We can offer Legal Aid and affordable Private fee agreements. We can see you the same day, including virtually. Our Senior Partners supervise all of our cases.

How quickly do you respond?

We respond quickly even during out of hours. We do not get our work by paying for online adverts but based on the fact that few criminal law firms can match our 45 years of experience. Most of our cases are still from word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied clients. We are called daily by dissatisfied clients from firms with less experience than us. We respond very quickly to new enquiries. We know what clients seek and so we update clients rapidly.

Can you get cases dropped?

Yes, read about the recent cases we've helped our clients with here.

We always keep you updated and give straightforward advice. We will get cases dropped early where the case is weak or should not be prosecuted. We will be upfront with you about where you can benefit from a good result with an early guilty plea, such as a discount on your sentence. As we work on cases across all levels with clients from all walks of life, we are excellent at giving clear, spot-on advice. As an established firm, we can allocate a whole team to your case often at short notice to secure evidence to minimise the damage to you. 

Have you won any awards?


"JD Spicer Zeb demonstrated a clear commitment to client service through their work with vulnerable and diverse individuals in what can be severely traumatic circumstances".

Do you offer free consultations?

Where it is possible, we aim to provide an initial consultation to you. If we can speak to you, we can if required inform you about  –

  • Whether we can take the case on and our relevant experience.
  • Public and private funding benefits.
  • Assistance in applying for legal aid where we are likely to accept instructions.
  • An outline of options in police interview only. We will not advise you on which option to adopt.
  • Providing our free written guide explaining the police station process.
  • The gravity of routine and day-to-day offences you face.
  • Consequences of not attending the court or police station.
  • Consequences of interfering with any witnesses.
  • Retaining any evidence in support of your case.
  • If possible an outline of the elements of the offence that the police or CPS must prove.
  • This consultation will normally be by telephone or email and will only be for as long as we deem necessary to establish if we can act for you. If we cannot usefully give you any advice in this manner then we will not continue with the consultation. We will not discuss the case in depth for you to be able to decide on your plea or any significant aspect of the case, as this cannot be undertaken informally.
  • Referring you, if possible, to other firms for matters out of our specialism or if we cannot help.

Consultations do not apply to the following cases –

  • If we do not intend to take the case on.
  • Road Traffic cases, drink driving, drug driving, driving bans, speeding, no insurance, mobile phone use, points etc.
  • In all cases where we do not have the capacity to take your case or the availability of suitably qualified staff to provide an initial free consultation. This is applicable in all cases but especially where a more senior lawyer is required because of your personal needs or the complexity of the case.
  • Harassment/stalking/ coercive behaviour/malicious communications or road traffic cases and most sensitive cases. These cases are often too complicated to assess in short consultations.
  • The locations concerned may be too distant to represent you adequately or it may not be cost-effective for you or us.
  • The case is too complicated to assess or raises various charges or facts, complexity, or history to be considered informally or in a short consultation.
  • In most Legal aid transfers where legal aid is granted to another firm except in very grave cases, we may assess the case and merits for a transfer.
  • If your relationship has broken down with your existing solicitor or several solicitors.
  • If you have been released under investigation and have already had a police station attendance. 
  • If you hold legal aid with another firm and seek a second opinion.
  • If you are calling on behalf of the client as a friend or family member unless you have full authority and full facts.
  • To businesses.
  • Advising whether you were given good advice by your other solicitor.
  • Whether to decide to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Whether you have an arguable defence in law or factually complicated defences.
  • Any advice you have had after your first court appearance.
  • Any advice on appeal on conviction or sentence.
  • If we feel we are unable to communicate with you.
  • If we are likely to be conflicted or breach our professional rules.

Our expertise with possession of an offensive weapon charges

We have decades of specialist experience defending clients against all types of weapons offences, including:

  • Possession of an offensive weapon in a public place
  • Possession of an article with blade/point in a public place
  • Possession of an offensive weapon on school premises
  • Possession of an article with blade/point on school premises
  • Unauthorised possession in prison of a knife or offensive weapon

Our detailed understanding of the law regarding possession of offensive weapons means we can make sure all of the relevant factors are considered and that no potential angle of defence is missed, giving you the best chance of avoiding charges or achieving the best available outcome during a prosecution.

We also realise how confusing and worrying dealing with these types of serious criminal charges can be, so as well as making sure you have the very best legal advice, we will also provide sympathetic personal support to help see you through this challenging time.

By working with some of the UK’s top criminal defence barristers specialising in weapons offences, we can ensure that if your case does go to trial, you have the very best legal representation for every stage of the proceedings.

What to do if you are arrested for possession of an offensive weapon

When arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, it is essential to remember your rights so you can make sure you do not say or do anything to unintentionally undermine your defence.

Please keep in mind the following four points:

  1. You do not have to answer any questions asked by the police.
  2. You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
  3. You have the right to free legal representation.
  4. You can use the duty solicitor available or choose your own lawyer.

If you are arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, the arresting officers must tell you the specific offence you are accused of committing and they must caution you using the words:

“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

Following a police interview for possession of an offensive weapon, one of the following will occur:

If you are charged with possession of an offensive weapon:

Please note, even if you are released with no further action or under investigation, you can be still be rearrested or summonsed to attend a court hearing at any time.

What is considered an offensive weapon?

The CPS defines an offensive weapon as "any article made or adapted for use to cause injury to the person, or intended by the person having it with him for such use".

There is no exhaustive list of what is considered an offensive weapon but some of the most common types of items you might be charged for carrying include:

  • Knives
  • Knife blades
  • Swords
  • Any other sharply pointed bladed item which is made of adapted to cause injury to a person
  • Hammers and other tools
  • Cricket bats, baseball bats and other blunt objects
  • Improvised weapons e.g. a toothbrush sharpened to a point
  • Acid and corrosive substances

Some items, such as kitchen knives, may be considered offensive weapons depending on the circumstances e.g. if you are found to be carrying a kitchen knife around in public without good reason.

Penalties for possession of an offensive weapon

The penalties on conviction for possession of an offensive weapon range from a fine up to 4 years’ custody.

The sentence you receive will depend on the amount of harm caused or that might have been caused by the offence, as well as your level of ‘culpability’ i.e. how responsible you are considered to be for any harm caused or potential for harm to be caused.

Factors that may indicate greater harm for a possession of an offensive weapon offence include:

  • Where the offence was committed at a school, anywhere else vulnerable people might be present, or in prison
  • Where the offence happened under circumstances where there was a risk of serious disorder
  • Where the offence caused serious alarm and/or distress to others

You might be considered to have higher culpability for the offence if:

  • The weapon was bladed or otherwise considered highly dangerous
  • The offence was motivated by hostility towards people with or perceived to have a protected characteristic e.g. religion, race, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity

You may also receive a more serious sentence is there are ‘aggravating factors’, such as:

  • You have a previous conviction for a related offence
  • The offence was committed while you were on bail
  • The offence was committed as part of a group or gang
  • You made attempts to conceal your identity during the offence
  • You attempted to conceal or dispose of relevant evidence
  • You have failed to comply with a court order

What defence is there against a charge of possessing an offensive weapon?

There can be various defence options, depending on the circumstances. For example, it may be that you had a legitimate reason for carrying the article that police have suggested was an offensive weapon. In such circumstances, it is often possible to see charges avoided or dropped early in an investigation.

Where there is no dispute that you were in possession of an offensive weapon, there can be a number of circumstances that may see you receive a reduced sentence, including:

  • Where you have no previous relevant convictions
  • If it can be shown that you are of good character
  • If your age or lack of maturity are considered to reduce your responsibility for the offence
  • If you have a recognised mental disorder or learning disability
  • If you co-operate with the police

Contact our specialist criminal defence lawyers today

For a free initial consultation, urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about an arrest or charge for possession of an offensive weapon, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact our dedicated criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

  • Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
  • Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
  • Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
  • City of London: 0207 624 7771 (our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City)

Or email: solicitors@jdspicer.co.uk

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

24/7 legal representation for possession of an offensive weapon charges

Please get in touch for a free initial consultation with one of our expert criminal defence solicitors, as well as immediate representation and advice on dealing with an arrest or charges for possession of an offensive weapon.

We are available to represent clients all over England and Wales at any time, so please contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556.

How can we help?

  • Umar Zeb
      • Umar Zeb
      • Senior Partner - Head of Private Client Crime
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  • Lisa Nicol
      • Lisa Nicol
      • Managing Partner - Head of Crime & Serious Cases
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  • James O'Donnell
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  • Sanjay Cholera
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