Drug offences are charged under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985
The sentence is determined by the quantity and type of drug. Drug Offences can include ‘use’ (s 12), ‘possession’ (s 10) and ‘supply’ (s 25) of a prohibited substance. Prohibited drugs are distinguished from medicinal drugs through the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966
Generally, ‘use’ and ‘possession’ drug offences are tried summarily.
These drug offences are tried in the local court, and carry a maximum penalty of $2200 and/or 2 years imprisonment.
To be charged with possession under section 10, the requirements include:
- Physical control of the prohibited substance (Filippetti).
- An intention to control and awareness of the nature of the prohibited substance (He Kaw Teh)
Other Summary drug offences can include:
- Self-administration of prohibited drugs – s 12
- Administration of prohibited drugs to others – s 13
- Permitting another to administer prohibited drugs – s 14
- Possession of equipment for administering (excludes needles and syringes) – s 11
- Commercial supply of waterpipes, including bongs – s 11A
- Possession of a tablet press – s 11B
Indictable drug offences are more serious in nature, covering the penalty of ‘supply’, referring to a traffickable quantity of drugs. This can carry with it a penalty of 10 years – life imprisonment, depending on the quantity of the prohibited substance.
Schedule 1 in the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 determines if a quantity of a particular drug is a traffickable quantity.
Under section 25, a person who supplies, or knowingly takes part in the supply of a prohibited substance is guilty of an offence.
Section 29 provides that a person who has in his or her possession an amount of a prohibited drug in his or her possession not less than the traffickable quantity of the prohibited drug shall be deemed to have the drug in his or her possession for supply. To defend this presumption, you must prove you have the traffickable sized quantity of the prohibited substance for purposes other than supply (s 29(a)), e.g for personal use.
Other indictable drug offences include:
- Ongoing supply, where a person who for 3 or more separate occasions during a 30 day period supplies a prohibited drug (excluding cannabis) for financial or material reward – s 25A
- Knowingly take part in the manufacture, production or supply – s 25
- Inciting supply – s 27
- Deemed drugs, where a substance not being a prohibited substance is represented as being a prohibited drug, is deemed to in fact be a prohibited drug. – s 40
Since 2013, the Life on Track Service became available at Kogarah (Note: Kogarah Court is now closed) Bankstown, and Sutherland Local Courts.
This service stems from the ‘CREDIT’program (Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment) designed to assist in treatment and services to reduce re-offending, which can reduce the chances of being given a custodial sentence.
The Life on Track program offers similar services through a non-government agent and offers personalised support and treatment plans, rather than a program based model. This targets those who may fall into the medium to high-risk category of reoffending. Referrals into this program can be made by the court, a lawyer or family member, or from the police.
The Life on Track program is suitable for those with issues such as alcohol and drug misuse, mental health conditions, unemployment, and other areas of personal concern.
If you need assistance with a drug matter: Call ETB Legal on (02) 9188 9669 or Mobile: 0412 915 247