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Firearms & Weapons

Weapons Offences are charges relating to the illegal use or possession of items that fit the definition of a ‘weapon’. In Canada, the unlawful use of a weapon can carry severe penalties under the Criminal Code with possible mandatory prison sentences and a permanent criminal record.

Possession of a firearm or pointing a firearm and related firearm offences could result in imprisonment if you are found guilty. Even if you do not get a jail sentence, a conviction for a weapons offence can dramatically impact your life.

This area of law is complex and requires a thorough understanding of constitutional litigation and Charter applications. Although carrying an illegal weapon is considered a crime in Canada, certain defences can work in your favour during the trial. Our legal defence team are experts at navigating criminal law and presenting a strong defence against your case. We leave no stone unturned to achieve the best possible outcome.


1. I have been charged with assault with a weapon – what does that mean?

Assault with a weapon is similar to common assault – the crucial difference is the assault happened while you were allegedly carrying, using or threatening to use either a weapon or imitation of a weapon.

2. What counts as a weapon?

A weapon can be anything – it can be a knife, a hammer, or even a pencil. It is anything that is used, designed to be used, or intended for use in causing death or injury to any person.

You can still be charged with assault with a weapon even if the weapon was not the cause of any of the victim’s injuries – simply threatening someone with a weapon can also be considered assault with a weapon.

3. What is the penalty for assault with a weapon?

Assault with a weapon is a more serious offence than simple assault. You should discuss your options with one of the lawyers at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm. We do whatever we can to ensure our clients do not get a criminal record as a result of this offence.

The potential outcomes of an assault with a weapon charge are:

  1. Charges are withdrawn with no criminal record,
  2. A peace bond, where charges are withdrawn with no criminal record,
  3. An absolute/conditional discharge, after a period of probation which results in no criminal record,
  4. Probation with a criminal record,
  5. Conditional sentence order (also known as house arrest), or
  6. A jail sentence for very serious matters.

If you already have a criminal record and are charged with assault with a weapon, there may also be other criminal consequences. You need a criminal defence lawyer who is familiar with your case and experienced in trial and sentencing litigation. Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm will answer any questions you have and rigorously advocate for your best interests every step of the way.

Recently won cases

R v G.P. [Pincher Creek Provincial Court]

Careless use of a Firearm, Domestic Assault, Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose and Multiple Breach Charges of Failing to Appear Result: Conditional Discharge

Our client was charged with numerous offences that could have resulted in an extensive serving sentence. In an effort to mitigate the seriousness of the charges, Tonii Roulston evaluated the personal challenges that our client was experiencing and took a firm position that there was an additional and more effective sentencing option that would better suit the interests of our client. Tonii Roulston was successful in negotiating a conditional sentence that prevented our client from being convicted of these charges.


R v S.W. and W.R. [Pincher Creek Provincial Court]

Unauthorized Possession of Firearm and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (x2) – Result: Charges Withdrawn 

The clients were co-accused on the same matter. Both clients were charged with unauthorized possession of a firearm and two counts each of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.00. Both clients faced a jail sentence upon conviction. Tonii Roulston reviewed the file and set the matter for trial, arguing that the client’s protected rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been violated by the arresting officers. Tonii Roulston entered negotiations with the Crown Prosecutor in defence of the clients and convinced the Crown to withdraw all charges.

R v K.N. [Alberta Court of Appeal]

The client was found guilty at trial of arson, disregard for human life, and improper storage of a firearm. Robin successfully argued at the Court of Appeal that the Trial Judge erred in law when he relied on the 9-11 phone call to bolster the credibility of the Crown witness. As a result, the conviction was set aside, and a new trial was ordered.

R v K.M. [Okotoks Provincial Court]

Assault with a Weapon & Property Damage Under $5000 Result: Charges Withdrawn & No Criminal Record 

The client was charged with committing assault with a weapon and damaging property not exceeding $5,000. Tonii Roulston reviewed the file and entered negotiations with the Crown Prosecutor, arguing that all charges should be withdrawn. All charges were withdrawn. The client had no convictions and no criminal record.

R v S.F. [Strathmore Provincial Court]

Careless Storage of Firearm and Possession – Result: Charges Withdrawn Alternative Measures & No Criminal Record

The client was charged with 2 counts of careless storage of a firearm, contrary to section 86 of the Criminal Code and 1 count of possession of cocaine, contrary to section 4(1) of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. Tonii Roulston negotiated with the Crown Prosecutor and was able to have all three of the client’s charges withdrawn at the completion of community service hours. The client has no conviction and no criminal record.