Drug Lawyers Penrith –Penrith Court House Representation. Are you facing drug charges for possession, manufacture or supply, call our Drug Law Specialists. Expert Criminal Law Defence 02 9261 8640.
To be convicted of a drug offence can result in a court imposing a range of penalties including a heavy fine or imprisonment. Extensive ranges of drug offences exist in Australia by way of both Federal and State legislation. In NSW, the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 is the main piece of legislation dealing with drug offences. A drug offence may also be committed under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966.
If you are found guilty of a drug offence this will have a drastic effect on your employment prospects as well as your ability to travel to certain countries. George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers have over 50 years of experience defending accused persons of drug offences and achieving the best possible outcome in each case.
The term ‘drug’ is a general term applied to a range of substances, which have an effect upon the human body or mind. This may include pain killers, stimulants or depressants such as ibuprofen found in Panadol and Nurofen as well as coffee, alcohol and tobacco. While these drugs may be legal and regulated, they are not prohibited. It is therefore more accurate to use the term ‘prohibited drug’ or ‘prohibited substance’ when referring to ‘illegal drugs’. Commonly known illegal drugs or ‘prohibited substances’ includes substances known as ecstasy, ice, cannabis, MDMA, speed and acid.
These prohibited substances are regulated under various statutes including the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act and the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act for NSW and the Criminal Code which is a Commonwealth Statute dealing with the import and export of prohibited substances. Common law also applies.
When a person is charged with a drug offence, it is essential they be represented by an expert criminal defence lawyer for a range of reasons. To be convicted of a drug offence requires the police or prosecution to prove certain elements exist beyond a reasonable doubt in the particular facts of the case. Unless each particular element is proved and the criminal law is properly applied, including police procedure, an accused person should not be found guilty. If a person is found guilty of a drug offence, it is then the defence lawyer’s duty to achieve the most just outcome.
According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, in Penrith in 2017 there were 1603 recorded counts of drug offences. This includes possession, use, trafficking, supply and importing offences.
Possession of a prohibited drug generally means the substance is in the order or disposition of a person. This is an offence in NSW under Section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985. To be found guilty of possession of prohibited drugs, the police must prove that you:
Therefore there are ranges of factors, which might exist, which allow a person to defend this charge.
For example, it may be argued that you did not actually possess the drug. While the drug may be found near you, it might not be in your possession under the legal definition of possession. Secondly, it must be proved that the substance was a prohibited drug. Whilst a person might have obtained a substance from another in the belief that it was a prohibited drug, the substance might not actually be a prohibited drug. The substance might look like a drug, though it is impossible to tell without properly testing the substance what it really is.
Thirdly, the police must prove the accused knew they possessed the prohibited drug. If a prohibited drug is planted on a person, that person cannot be said to have the knowledge that they are in possession of a prohibited drug. Unless these elements are proved, a person cannot be found guilty of possession of a prohibited drug.
‘Supply’ of a prohibited drug is a definition, which also requires close analysis of the facts of a particular case as well as the law in order to ascertain whether an offence can be proved. Section 3 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act defines “supply” as:
sell and distribute, and also includes agreeing to supply, or offering to supply, or keeping or having in possession for supply, or sending, forwarding, delivering or receiving for supply, or authorising, directing, causing, suffering, permitting or attempting any of those acts or things.
This is a broad definition which criminalises a range of potential acts by an accused person. Generally, the quantity of the relevant prohibited drug alleged to be for supply will determine the seriousness of the offence and in turn the weight of the likely penalty a court may impose. Commonly it is unclear whether the prohibited drug is for the personal use of the accused or for supply to others. This requires a proper analysis of the facts of a case and application of the law by an expert criminal defence lawyer.
If you have been charged with a prohibited drug offence, contact our Drug Lawyers Penrith. George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 during business hours or 0412 423 569 outside of business hours. We may also be contacted via email at [email protected].