Even though most of us may never be caught with illicit drugs in our lives, it is still good to know the consequences and repercussions. The most common penalty for drug possession is a fine averaging around $300 and another common repercussion is a good behaviour bond. However, that is not to say that charges cannot be serious, including those of imprisonment, depending on the situation. The scale of seriousness and the length of punishment if found guilty of drug offences range from drug possession at the lower end of the scale, to ‘deemed supply and drug trafficking’ at the higher end of the spectrum.
What Drugs Are Illegal To Possess?
There are a number of drugs which are illegal in Australia. The most common examples include:
What Can I Be Charged With?
In NSW, you can be charged with drug possession if you are found to be in physical custody or control of an illegal drug, and you knew or should have known that the illegal drugs were in your possession. The maximum penalty is 2 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $2,200 in the most serious cases.
Drug supply charges are much more serious than drug possession, with the maximum penalty dependent on the type and quantity of the drug. A person may be charged with drug supply if he/she supplies or “knowingly takes part” in the intended supply of a prohibited drug. This can include supplying drugs to a friend or sending drugs in the post to another address. Like drug supply, you may be charged with deemed supply if you have a certain quantity of drugs in your possession, where the amount is greater than certain threshold specified at law.
Other penalties can consist of fines, good behaviour bonds, community service orders, suspended sentences, periodic detention or imprisonment.
Your Options in Court
Pleading guilty – if pleading at an early stage, this may be beneficial in some cases as it illustrates to the court that you are sorry for your actions. However, it is always important to speak with an experienced specialised drug lawyer to figure out your specific options.
Pleading not guilty – There is not requirement that you have to own the drugs to be charged with possession, it is enough that you even knew or should have known. So, you can be charged even if you were just holding them for a friend.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Caught?
Being charged with drug related offences can be quite scary and have serious consequences. However, with the help of an experienced Criminal Lawyer, your chances of reducing the severity of such charges can be significantly reduced. Therefore, as soon as you are arrested and charged you will require a criminal lawyer. If you or anyone you know has been charged with any drug related offences, contact KPT Criminal Lawyers today.
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice beforetaking any course of action.*