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  • Drug Offences

If you are reading this because someone you (or someone care about) has been charged with a drug-related offence, you will be looking for someone to take you through the process that lies ahead.

At LAC Lawyers, we have solicitors who have extensive experience in this area. They have all achieved the results for their previous clients, and will strive to do the same on your behalf.

Drug Offences and Criminal Law

Under the Australian Criminal Code there are offences which relate to the import or export of border control drug or plant, possess such drug or plant which was illegally imported and posses such drug or plant reasonably suspected of being illegally imported. The crown has to establish that the person imported a substance that it was a border controlled drug or plant and the amount was a commercial quantity.

With importation there must be proof and intention to import so there has to be knowledge of the drugs. The intention can be inferred from an awareness that what was being imported contained narcotic goods.

Charged with a drug offence? You need experienced legal advice. Call LAC Lawyers today on 1300 309 551.

Penalties for Drug Offences

Under the commonwealth act there are a number of penalties which apply, including: life imprisonment where the amount of the drug is a commercial quantity; 25 years imprisonment where the quantity is a marketable quantity; 10 years where there is no intention to sell; and 2 years for importing less than a marketable quantity.

The commonwealth criminal code has a schedule of penalties for importing particular drugs including amphetamines, cannibas, cannibas resin, cocaine, heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The primary focus is trafficable, marketable and commercial quantities of illegal drugs.

Supply includes buying a drug with pooled money and splitting the result. Providing mail order drugs amounts to supply. Having someone hold drugs for you is not supply. Interestingly you cannot be convicted of both possession and supply as they are mutually exclusively. Continuous supply attracts a penalty of 20 years imprisonment. An analyst certificate is prima facie evidence of a quantity of the drug. The manufacture or production of a prohibited drug is an offence.

Many cases focus on possession as well as supply. Possession of a minute amount of drug does not constitute possession. For possession there has to be exclusive physical control.  The prosecution has to provide knowledge of the existence of the drug, mere knowledge and their location in premises does not amount to possession.

Where a person is found entering or leaving drug premises then this can amount to an offence unless they are doing it with a lawful purpose or lawful excuse.  It is up to the prosecution to prove that the premises are drug premises and the court has to be satisfied that they were being used for the manufacture and supply of a prohibited drug at the relevant time.  Possession is one thing, but the courts take an extremely poor view of supply. It is an offence to supply or take part in the actual supply of a prohibited drug.  A person who has in his possession a trafficable quantity of a drug is deemed to have it in his possession for the purpose of supply unless he proves otherwise.   Possession of plastic bags, pistols and scales is admissible. 

There are also severe penalties for supply of prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis.  The crown must prove that the accused knew that the relevant amount of drugs was involved.  Manufacture is another area where severe penalties apply and the act makes it an offence where a person manufacturers or produces or who knowingly takes part in the manufacture or production of a prohibited drug.  Drug offences are all about quantity and deal with small quantity, trafficable quantity, indictable quantity, commercial quantity and large commercial quantity.  Where a person supplies more than a large commercial quantity then the maximum penalty is life imprisonment or 5,000 penalty units or $550,000 (except in the case of cannabis where it is 20 years but the fine is the same.)

Charged with a drug offence? You need experienced legal advice. Call LAC Lawyers today on 1300 309 551.

Experienced Criminal Lawyers for All Drug Offences

Below is a list of criminal lawyers who offer expert legal defence for all drug offences.

LAC Lawyers have a team of lawyers with the experience in criminal law cases that you need to get the best outcome. The following is a selection of our currently practicing criminal lawyers.

If you have been charged with a drug offence, contact LAC Lawyers today on 1300 309 551.


If you have been charged with a drug offence, contact  LAC today on 1300 309 551.

Want to speak to a lawyer right away?

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Drug Offences Articles

The Difference between Prescribed Concerntration of Alcohol (PCA) Offences and Drive Under Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drug

Date: March 10, 2011
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Police are able to conduct breath tests on drivers in NSW under certain circumstances. When a driver has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, when stopped for their manner of driving, or as it often the case at random breath test stations.

Criminal Law - Sentencing in the Local Court

Date: October 08, 2010
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Often I am asked by my clients who have been charged with common offences such as assault or drink driving what the likely result will be if they enter a plea of “Guilty”. This is not a question which can be answered with much certainty given that even when to individuals are charged with exactly the same charge, the possible outcome when it comes to that individual’s sentencing can vary according to factors such as in which Local Court the matter is dealt with, which Magistrate determines the sentence, the sentencing options available to the Magistrate and the individual’s subjective circumstances.

Criminal Law - Unauthorised possession of Prescription Drugs

Date: January 15, 2008
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Most so called 'party drugs' are prohibited drugs. Cocaine, speed, methleamphetamine, MDMA and cannabis are all prohibited drugs. They are available because people will pay good money to use them recreationally.

What to expect when you call LAC Lawyers

Date: December 13, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
LAC Lawyers is a full service firm dedicated to the provision of superior legal services in Australia. Our aim is to provide unrivalled client satisfaction coupled with high quality service and advice. When you call LAC Lawyers our friendly reception staff will spend time with you to identify the area of law your enquiry relates to then pass you on to one of our qualified solicitor's who can help you.

Criminal Law - Drugs: Police Sniffer Dogs: Part 1

Date: March 21, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
The dogs have been let loose recently. Numerous people have been charged generally involving small amounts of cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy) as a result of over active Labradors at pubs, parties and big days out. A client who recently contacted me was apprehended walking to a dance party in the Botanical Gardens. She had in her possession, 1 joint and 1 pill.

Criminal Law - Drugs: Police Sniffer Dogs: Part 2

Date: March 21, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
On 22 February 2002, the NSW Parliament enacted the Police Power (Drug Detection Dogs) Act (The Drug Dog Act). The Drug Dog Act continues to allow police to use drug dogs to search an individual once they have formed a reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed.

Criminal Law - Drugs: The Pitfall of Pills: Part 1

Date: March 21, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Called; ecstasy, e, ecce, disco biscuits or 3, 4 methyledioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA), MDMA is an increasingly popular party drug. Putting aside any health issues with drug use, one frequently overlooked consideration is that it is illegal in New South Wales.

Criminal Law - Drugs: Pills and Drug Weight: Part 2

Date: March 20, 2006
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
What the law calls admixtures count as the drug weight. for the purpose of State drug offences, the law looks at the total mass of the drug and not pure drug bulk. This means that even if the pill is very low in purity as long as it contains some MDMA, the total bulk of the pill is the amount that counts.

Criminal Law - Sentence and penalty options available to courts if convicted of a criminal offence

Date: September 26, 2005
Author(s): LAC Lawyers
Murder. Bigamy. Robbery. Bushfires. Terrorism. Domestic violence. Computer offences. Concealing the birth of a child. Fraud. Rape. The list of criminal offences for which a person may be convicted in any Australian jurisdiction is extensive.

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