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.
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