Being charged with a Drug Offence is serious. If you are convicted of a Drug Offence you will have a criminal record and your ability to travel overseas and work in certain jobs may well be impacted.
An experienced lawyer may be able to convince the Court that a Section 10 is appropriate. The factors which will influence the Court's decision include the quantity of drugs involved, your previous record and the seriousness of the charges.
Some of the more common prohibited drugs include, THC (cannabis), MDMA (ecstacy), speed or ice, opiates (heroin) and cocaine.
For information about defences and penalties for DRUG DRIVING click here
Possess Prohibited Drug
It is an offence to possess a prohibited drug. If convicted the offence carries a maximum penalty of a $2,200 fine and/or 2 year’s imprisonment.
To be convicted of this charge the prosecution will need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you had knowledge of the drug and that you had possession of the drug.
Drug Possession offences are generally limited to small quantities of prohibited drugs. In some instances, possession of a sufficient quantity of a drug will result in a deemed supply charge.
A common defence to this charge can arise in a shared environment like a music festival or venue where the prosecution may have difficulty proving possession of the prohibited drug by one person.
Use a Prohibited Drug
It is an offence to self-administer a prohibited drug. If convicted the offence carries a maximum penalty of a $2,200 fine and/or 2 year’s imprisonment.
The manner in which you consume the drug doesn’t matter, it only matters that the drug is present in your system. There are various ways that prohibited drugs can be self-administered including – injecting, smoking, swallowing and inhaling.
Supply Prohibited Drug
It is an offence to knowingly take part in the supply a prohibited drug. A conviction for this offence carries a maximum penalty of a $220,000 fine and/or 15 year’s imprisonment.
To be convicted of this charge the prosecution will need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug.
If the quantity involved is not significant an experienced drug offence lawyer may be able to argue that the possession was for personal use only and not for supply or profit.
The importation of prohibited drugs into Australia is a federal offence. These offences are viewed very seriously by the courts with maximum penalties which range from 2 years imprisonment up to life imprisonment and hefty fines of up to $825,000 for commercial quantities.
Drug importation charges are broken down into categories depending on the quantity involved. The charges and penalties will depend on whether the border controlled drug imported was of a less than marketable quantity, a marketable quantity or a commercial quantity.
To be convicted of this charge the prosecution will need to show that all of the elements of the offence were present. The elements include, that there was intent, that the substance was a border controlled drug, and the quantity was above a marketable or commercial quantity.
Some of the defences to a charge of drug importation include genuine mistake, lack of intent, duress and any uncertainty as to the alleged drug importers identity.
What is the difference between a marketable and commercial quantity?
In contrast to NSW drug offences, federal offences reference the “pure quantity” of the drug without any mixtures or additives.
The quantities for different types of drugs vary and are listed below –
- Marketable quantity is 2 grams to 1.49kg
- Commercial quantity is more than 1.5kg
- Marketable quantity is 1.5 grams to 499g
- Commercial quantity is more than 500g
- Marketable quantity is 2 grams to 749g
- Commercial quantity is more than 750g
- Marketable quantity is 2 grams to 1.99kg
- Commercial quantity is more than 2kg
- Marketable quantity is 2.5 kilos to 99kg
- Commercial quantity is more than 100kg
Manufacture Prohibited Drug
It is an offence for a person to manufacture a prohibited drug. A conviction for this offence carries a maximum penalty of a $220,000 fine and/or 15 year’s imprisonment.
The type and quantity of drug manufactured will determine the penalty imposed and the Court that the matter is heard in. Where the amount manufactured exceeds the indictable quantity, the matter becomes strictly indictable and will be heard in the District Court where penalties are significantly higher than in the Local Court.
To be charged with this offence the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you directly or knowingly took part in manufacture or production of a prohibited drug.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience defending clients on the Central Coast facing drug offence charges in Court.
Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible for a free initial consultation.
Possible defences for Drug Offences may include:
- Illegal search
- Lack of exclusive possession
- Insufficient evidence
To see if any of these defences apply call our Drug Offence Specialists on 1300 529 444 or a free case assessment.
In NSW the following penalties can be imposed by the Court for Drug Offences.
- Section 10 no conviction recorded
- Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Suspended sentence
- Intensive correctional order
- Home detention
- Up to 25 year's imprisonment
To find out which likely penalties apply call our Drug Offence Specialists on 1300 529 444 or a free case assessment.
Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...
“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
S10(1)(a) – Dismissal & CRO: 12 months, no conviction | Possess prohibited drug (cannabis and cocaine) | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 22-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast. He is completing an apprenticeship and has worked for the same employer for 4 years.
Our client attended a 4-day music festival with friends. While at the festival, our client bought some illicit drugs and was subsequently caught by Police and charged with 2 counts of possession.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy attended Gosford Local Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Emphasis was placed on the fact this was our client’s first offence, his supportive character references, and that the prospects of his rehabilitation were positive. The Magistrate saw it fit to dismiss the cannabis possession charge against our client and sentenced our client to a 12-month Conditional Release Order without conviction for the cocaine charge.
A charge dismissal under s10(1)(a) is not a common occurrence. Solicitor Denise McCarthy secured a fantastic result for our client in the circumstances, allowing our client to maintain a clear criminal record.
Section 10(1)(b) – Possess Prohibited Drug – Newtown Local Court
Our client was an 18-year-old male, who lives on the Central Coast with his parents. He was charged with Possess Prohibited Drug (MDMA) at a Sydney Music Festival. The maximum penalty for this offence is a $2,200.00 fine and a term of imprisonment of 2 years. Our client was extremely concerned about having a criminal record and was worried about the impact it would have on his life. Solicitor Denise McCarthy made submissions to the Magistrate as to our client's previous good character, his academic achievements and plans for the future. After some deliberation, the Magistrate dismissed the charges under section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 19999 (NSW) on the condition that our client enters a Good Behaviour Bond for 9 months. Our client was very relieved at the outcome.
Suspended Sentence – 17 Criminal Charges – Wyong Local Court
Our Client, a male who lives on the Central Coast was charged with a total of 17 criminal offences including drug offences, firearm and weapon offences, goods in personal custody suspected of being stolen and a traffic offence. After extensive negotiations, the Police withdrew 7 of the 17 charges and our client was directed to Community Corrections for a Pre-Sentence Report. When the matter returned to Court solicitor Kevin Vierboom made submissions in relation to the objective seriousness of the charges and the subjective circumstances in mitigation of the sentences. Following consideration of these submissions, the Magistrate ordered a twelve month Suspended Sentence on the condition that our client enters into a Good Behaviour Bond. Our client was very relieved at the outcome, considering the number of serious offences he was charged with.
Section 10(1)(b) – Unlawfully obtained goods (personal custody) and 5 x possess/attempt to, prescribed restricted substance – Gosford District Court
Our client, a 40-year-old male who was charged with unlawfully obtained goods (personal custody) and 5 x possess/attempt to, prescribed restricted substance. The maximum penalties for these offences are a fine of $550.00 and 6 months imprisonment, and a fine of $2,200.00 and 2 years imprisonment respectively. Solicitor Kevin Vierboom made representations to the Police who withdrew 4 out of the 5 charges of possess/attempt to, prescribed restricted substance. The Local Court Magistrate convicted our client and ordered 2 x $400.00 fines. Our client’s reputation and profession as a nurse would have been severely affected with a criminal conviction so he asked us to lodge a severity appeal in the District Court. Our client had suffered an assault prior to being charged which caused back pain, anxiety, depression and post-concussion syndrome; a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It was also discovered that the TBI was the probable cause for our client’s behaviour which led to the charges. Our Solicitor made extensive submissions in relation to the injury, our client's employment and previous good character. Following these submissions, the Judge dismissed the charges and ordered a Good Behaviour Bond for a term of 18 months pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
Section 32 – drive vehicle under influence of drugs 1st off, 2 x possess prohibited drug – Sydney Downing Centre Court
Our client, a 39 year-old-male who lives on the Central Coast was charged with drive vehicle under influence of drugs 1st off and 2 x possess prohibited drug. The maximum penalties for these offences are 9 months imprisonment, a fine of $2,200.00 and an automatic licence disqualification for the period of 12 months; and 2 years imprisonment and a fine of $2,200.00 respectively. Our client served in the Australian army overseas. Our client suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety as a result of the trauma he experienced in the army.These mental health conditions influenced our client’s offending behaviour; our client is otherwise a person of good character.
Our Solicitor and Counsel Justine Hopper worked together in this matter. Counsel made extensive submissions with regard to the objective seriousness of the offence, the need to protect the community from further criminal conduct and our client’s subjective circumstances including his mental health concerns.
The Magistrate was of the view that the matter should be dismissed and ordered that our client be discharged into the care of his doctor in accordance with section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. There was no finding of guilty and no criminal conviction recorded
Our client was a 23-year-old female. She was charged with possessing a prohibited drug at a music festival. The client was facing an automatic a $2,200 fine and/or a 2-year term of imprisonment. Due to the number of tablets she was found with, she was most fortunate not to be charged with supplying drugs, which carries heavier penalties.
Our client works in childcare and is also studying. With a conviction, she faced the possibility of losing her job. Our client was sentenced by Magistrate Day at Gosford Local Court where solicitor Kevin Vierboom argued for a Section 10 which meant our client would receive no penalty.
Magistrate Day took into account our client's youth, her personal circumstances, her previous good character, her contribution to the community and her genuine remorse. The Magistrate agreed that the matter should be dealt with under Section 10(1)(b) The Court did not record a conviction on her criminal record and placed our client on a 2-year good behaviour bond.
Our client was relieved to achieve a section 10. She was able to keep her job, continue her studies and plan for an overseas trip.
Our client was a 28-year-old male. He had no prior criminal convictions. He was charged with possessing a prohibited drug at a music festival. The client was facing an automatic $2,200 fine and/or a 2-year term of imprisonment.
Our client was a tradesman and had planned to apply for a home builder's licence. With a conviction, our client would find it more difficult to obtain this licence. Our client has also planned an overseas holiday with his girlfriend and was concerned that he would be prohibited from obtaining some overseas visas. He was sentenced at Gosford Local Court by Magistrate Day, where our solicitor argued for a Section 10 which meant our client would receive a penalty or conviction on his criminal record.
Magistrate Day took into account our client's strong work ethic, his plans to travel overseas the effect a conviction would have on his career, his previous good character and his genuine remorse. The Magistrate agreed that the matter should be dealt with under Section 10(1)(b) The Court did not record a conviction and placed our client on a 6-month good behaviour bond.
Our client was genuinely grateful to achieve a section 10. He can now look forward to a bright future and he and his girlfriend can travel freely overseas without concern.
CRO – 24 months | Cultivate prohibited drug (marijuana) | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 36-year-old male who lives on the Central with his wife and 3 children. He is employed by a subsidiary of a large Australian bank.
Police attended his property to investigate the presence of an illicit drug being cultivated on our client’s property. Our client was at work at the time, however, on inspection, Police found 6 plants of cannabis being cultivated in the backyard.
Police contacted our client and he admitted the plants were his, stating they were more of an experiment than anything else. Our client mistakenly believed he was legally permitted to grow a small quantity.
Police charged our client with cultivate prohibited plant which has a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a $5,500 fine.
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended Court and made submissions to mitigate our client’s penalty. Our client’s stable domestic and work life was put forward, as well as his clean criminal record to date. The Magistrate considered the criminal process to be a lesson to our client and sentenced him to a 24-month Conditional Release Order, with no conviction.
As a conviction would have impacted our client’s employment, our client was very pleased with the result.
12-month CCO, $400 fine & 3-month ICO | Possess /cultivate/supply prohibited drug/deal with proceeds of crime | Wyong Local Court
Our client is a 40-year-old male who lives on the Central Coast.
Police issued a search warrant to inspect his property and found some cannabis plants at the rear of the property. Cash, resealable bags, scales and mobile phones were also seized by Police.
Our client made admissions to Police about purchasing cultivation equipment for growing cannabis (specifically cannabinoid oil) for the treatment of his mother who had cancer.
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended Wyong Local Court and made submissions to the Magistrate who sentenced our client to a 12-month Community Correction Order for the possess prohibited drug charge, and a fine of $400 to the possess prohibited plant charge. For supply, cultivate and deal with proceeds of crime charges, our client was sentenced to a 3-month Intensive Corrections Order.
Our client was relieved at the outcome given the maximum penalties include 3 years imprisonment and an $11,000 fine.
Section 10(1)(b) - Possess prohibited Drug (Cannabis & Methamphetamine) - Wyong Local Court
Our client was a 35-year-old female who live on the Central Coast. She is a qualified childcare worker who would be unable to work with a criminal record. Our solicitor entered negotiations with the police to amend the facts and made a strong case in his submissions to the Magistrate.
Our client was able to retain her previously unblemished record and is now able to continue her career in childcare and carry out her other business interests with her head held high
Possess & Supply Prohibited Drug | CCO (18 Months) | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 20-year-old male who lives with his mother and sister on the Central Coast. Our client works as a plumber.
Our client had prior convictions for drug possession, low range PCA and larceny.
During a night out in Erina, our client and his friends decided to buy some MDMA to share. A security guard noticed that our client has something which he suspected to be drugs under his leg. Police were called and our client was found to have 28 pills of MDMA. He was charged with Possess and Supply Prohibited Drug >indictable &<commercial quantity T1.
The maximum penalty for Possess Prohibited Drug is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $2,200. The maximum penalty for Supply is 2 years Imprisonment and/or a fine of $11,000 in the Local Court and 15 years Imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000 in the District Court.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy managed to keep the matter in the Local Court and asked that our client be afforded the chance to complete MERIT. The Magistrate agreed and our client partially completed the program.
Considering our client’s prior criminal history and the non-completion of Merit he had a strong chance of going to jail. However, with the aid of strong submissions, supporting material and a positive sentencing assessment report, our client was sentenced to an 18 month Community Corrections Order and given a second chance to turn his life around.