Some of my clients have asked – “Can I carry a hockey stick in my car for protection?”??The answer is no, you cannot.  (Any item such as a cricket bat, golf club, even a piece of timber can constitute an offensive weapon).??

If you are stopped by a police officer and a hockey stick is discovered in your car you will be asked - “Why is the hockey stick in your vehicle?”??Or sometime a police officer will ask, “if you are attacked would you use it for self defence?”??If you reply that you are carrying it for your own protection, or say that you would use it in self-defence then in that case you have broken the law.

You could be charged with possession of an offensive weapon.?? Suppose that a search of your vehicle reveals a hockey stick, say in the boot or on the floor at the back seat, what then? If you are not aware of it, unaware that it was there, or you don’t know how it got there then tell that very important fact to the police.??

The issue for any criminal liability is – did you knowingly possess an offensive weapon. As you were unaware that the hockey stick was in the car and you did not know how it got there you could not be charged with that offence.  ??If the police officer goes further and asks whether you would have used the hockey stick in self defence, you would be prudent to say nothing.     ??

Naturally if you are going to play a game of hockey and you have a hockey stick in your car for that purpose then you have not committed a criminal offence.??To conclude, you should always keep in mind your rights when questioned by the police.  (If you are unaware of your rights please read my column in the Indian Weekender issue of May 15, 2009). 

??If an item, which may constitute a weapon, is found in your car and the police question you, a wise approach is to give your name, age, address and occupation. You have to do that much. Then tell the police that you wish to consult a lawyer and do not wish to answer any further questions. You have the right to remain silent.
The information contained in this article or response is intended to provide general information. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Readers should seek independent legal advice in particular matters.