your car in public?

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your car in public?

Post  TonyJ. on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:38 am

Hi Chris,
I'm curious about something.
When your car is in a public place I would have believed the contents of the car to be considered your private property. i.e. no difference to the contents of your home.

The below link is about someone who was charged and later cleared for having a machete in the car.
The initial charge was an object with a point or blade in public Question

http://www.wirralnews.co.uk/page.cfm?siteid=100252&method=full&objectid=26229326

So is your car considered public or private property in law.
If the acused had been brandishing the item I know that would be another matter.

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Re: your car in public?

Post  Chris on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:33 am

Hi Tony,

Whatever you own is your private property. Wherever that item is, it is still your private property. Indoors, outdoors, in your house or in your car etc.

You can have a privately owned item in public. We do it all of the time when we walk around with our clothes on our backs and our watches on our wrists etc. The restriction is on what type of privately owned item you have out and about with you in "public".

The law makes it very clear. If you are out in public then you are out in public. Whether you are walking or driving or on public transport then it makes no difference. You're still out in public and you're liable for arrest if you do something illegal. When you think about it, that makes perfect logical sense otherwise any armed robber would potentially be able to throw his shotguns in his car without fear of arrest.
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Re: your car in public?

Post  TonyJ. on Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:22 am

Ok, but said armed robber can legally transport a legally owned shotgun in the boot of his car, if its unloaded and secured.
It only becomes a crime if it is brandished or used as a weapon.

Is it not the same with transporting a machete or pick axe or whatever?
People transport tools (aka potential weapons everyday), the item is not illegal as such but how it is used maybe illegal.

It seems it only becomes a legal issue if a member of the public or police is concerned by said item.


In your opinion is there a legal justification for being charged with having a pointed or bladed object (or other tool) in your car when it is not being brandished or used a weapon?


The case I linked to had a third party taking responsibility for the item so it was thrown out on that.

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Re: your car in public?

Post  Chris on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:00 am

Okay, if you are talking about justification for having prohibited items in public then there are arguments that you can put forward.

There are two broad "types" when it comes to items which you can be arrrssted for having possession of. (I wont include firearms because they are an entirely different kettle of fish in the UK and have their own very definite requirements for ownership, use and carriage)

There are those items which in and of themselves are illegal to have in public. Whole long list of 'em predominantly made up of antiquated martial arts weaponry.

Then there are the items which are designed for, modified for or intended for use as weapons.

So, you can see just by looking that there is a lot of scope for trouble with the law.

You can justify your carrying an illegal item if it is a tool of your trade (provided you are travelling to or from your place of work.) You can also justify its possession as a part of your national dress (provided you are otherwise attired)

My advice in general is that the criminal justice system in this country does NOT like bladed weapons so you are going to struggle to justify carrying something with an edge, a point or both.
When it comes to blunt items things tend to be a little more open but you still have to be careful. You may believe it is perfectly reasonable to say to a police officer that you have a golf club in the back of the car because you play golf every weekend but then he arrests you because you have no other clubs, balls or tees in the car with you. You may think it is reasonable to have a baseball bat in the car because you like the game until the officer points out that you don't have a ball or glove to go with it.

With these types of items, like most things in life, if you have a genuine reason to have something then it is likely you wont have many issues.
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