Serious penalties apply to drug charges. You should get legal advice from us if you have been charged with Possessing Dangerous Drugs, Producing Dangerous Drugs or Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs. Book an appointment now.
Our experienced lawyers can assist with advice about the charges, your options, any available defence or likely penalty.
What is a “dangerous drug?
Dangerous drugs are defined in Schedule 1 and 2 of the Drug Misuse Regulation 1987. Schedule 1 drugs include: –
- Amphetamine – commonly known as Speed, Goey or Whizz
- Cocaine – commonly known as Coke or Blow
- Heroin – commonly known as Hammer, Smack or Slow
- Lysergide – commonly known as LSD or Acid
- Methylamphetamine – commonly known as Crystal Meth, Ice, Crack or Chard
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine – commonly known as MDMA, Ecstasy, Pinga, Eckie or E
- Phencyclidine – commonly known as PCP or Angel Dust
All drug charges start in the Magistrates Court. Some Possession and Production of drugs charges can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, otherwise the charge will be transferred to the District or Supreme Court. Trafficking in certain drugs must be dealt with in the Supreme Court. The process to transfer the charges from the Magistrates Court to the higher court is called a Committal Hearing.
Do you need a Lawyer?
You should get advice from us straight away if the police contact you for an interview or you have been charged with a Drug Offence.
The following is information on some of the Drug Offences our Criminal Defense Lawyers have been involved with:-
What is the meaning of “producing”?
The definition in the Drugs Misuse Act includes preparing, manufacturing, cultivating, packaging or producing. It also includes offering to do any of these acts or doing anything preparatory to or in furtherance of any of these acts.
What is the penalty for producing?
The penalty for producing drugs normally depends on the type and amount of drug produced. Serious penalties apply to producing dangerous drugs, and you should get advice from us if you have been charged.
What is the meaning of possession?
The term ‘possession’ includes ‘knowledge’ and ‘control’ of the drug. There are different ways you can have ‘possession’ including physical possession, non-physical possession, joint possession and deemed possession.
Physical possession is where you have the drug in your pocket, car or room. An example of non-physical possession is where you have the drugs locked in a car or have a package to collect from the post office or freight courier. Joint possession is where more than one person is in possession of the drugs, for example being caught in a house with others smoking the same cannabis joint.
Deemed possession is where you are the ‘occupier’ or person concerned in the management or control of a place. This means an occupier of a house can be deemed to have possession of the drugs unless they can prove they did not know nor had any reason to suspect the drugs were in the house.
What is the penalty for possessing drugs?
The penalty for possessing drugs will depend on the type and quantity of drugs in your possession. You should get advice from us if you have been charged.
What is the meaning of “trafficking”?
Typically, “trafficking” includes selling. But “trafficking” has a wide meaning and includes trading in or dealing with. A single transaction can amount to trafficking in drugs. However, to establish trafficking it is necessary to show a regularity of drug dealing sufficient to establish that it occurred in the course of a business which might be regarded as trafficking.
The penalty for trafficking normally depends on the type of drugs supplied, the amount of drugs, their value, the nature of the business and whether is it commercial or to feed a drug habit. Serious penalties apply to trafficking and you should get advice from us if you have been charged.
Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs
It is a crime to carry on the business of unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug. The Maximum penalty for trafficking is 25 years imprisonment.
Producing Dangerous Drugs
The law says that a person who unlawfully produces a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.
Possessing Dangerous Drugs
The law says that a person who unlawfully has possession of a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.
Possessing things for use in connection with a drug offence
The law provides that a person who has possession of anything for use, or anything the person has used in connection with a drug offences, is guilty of a crime.
This commonly includes items like phones, scales, clip seal plastic bags or equipment.
The maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment.
Possessing suspected property
Section 10A(1) of the Drugs Misuse Act states that a person who has in his or her possession any property (other than a dangerous drug, hypodermic syringe or needle) reasonably suspected of—
(a) having been acquired for the purpose of committing an offence defined in the Act; or
(b) having been used in connection with the commission of such an offence; or
(c) having been furnished or intended to be furnished for the purpose of committing such an offence; or
(d) being the proceeds of such an offence; or
(e) having been acquired with the proceeds of such an offence; or
(f) being property into which the proceeds of such an offence have, in some other manner, been converted;
who does not give an account satisfactory to the court of how the person lawfully came by or had such property in the person’s possession commits an offence against the Act.
The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.