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Criminal Justice Act 1988

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139 Offence of having article with blade or point in public place.E+W

(1)Subject to subsections (4) and (5) below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.

(3)This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.

(4)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—

(a)for use at work;

(b)for religious reasons; or

(c)as part of any national costume.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable-

[F1(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding [F2four] years, or a fine, or both.]

(7)In this section “public place” includes any place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(8)This section shall not have effect in relation to anything done before it comes into force.

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Extent Information

E1This version of this provision extends to England and Wales only; a separate version has been created for Northern Ireland only

Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 139(6)(a)(b) substituted (4.7.1996) for words by 1996 c. 26, s.3(1) (with s. 3(2))

139 Offence of having article with blade or point in public place.N.I.

(1)Subject to subsections (4) and (5) below, any person who has an article to which this section applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, this section applies to any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife.

(3)This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.

(4)It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(5)Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4) above, it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had the article with him—

(a)for use at work;

(b)for religious reasons; or

(c)as part of any national costume.

[F3(6)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both;

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 4 years, or to a fine, or to both.]

(7)In this section “public place” includes any place to which at the material time the public have or are permitted access, whether on payment or otherwise.

(8)This section shall not have effect in relation to anything done before it comes into force.

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Extent Information

E2This version of this provision extends to Northern Ireland only; a separate version has been created for England and Wales only

Amendments (Textual)

F3S. 139(6) substituted (N.I.) (16.7.2008) by The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order S.I. 2008/1216 (N.I. 1), arts. 1, 90(3); S.R. 2008/293, art. 2, Sch. para. 14.

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