Our criminal law team at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers are highly experienced in drug offences, including:

  • Possess prohibited drug
  • Deemed supply prohibited drug
  • Supply prohibited drug
  • Supply prohibited drug on an ongoing basis
  • Deal with proceeds of crime
  • What happens when you are charged with a drug offence?

Drug offences are contained in the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). Possessing a prohibited drug is an offence under Section 10 of the Act. Schedule 3 of the Act lists the substances considered to be prohibited drugs. In order to secure a conviction for possession of a prohibited drug, the Prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You had a prohibited drug in your possession;
  2. You either knew it was in your possession, or you knew that it was likely to be in your possession; or
  3. You believed that the item you had in your possession was a drug.

There are number of defences available to defend a drug possession charge, which include the following:

  1. You did not have exclusive possession of the drugs. This defence may be applicable in circumstances where the drugs were found in the communal area of a house which you share with others, for example the lounge room or living area;
  2. You were not aware that the drugs were in your possession, for example they may have been placed into your bag without your knowledge;
  3. The search conducted by Police was not lawful;
  4. You have a lawful reason to possess the drug under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966;
  5. You had the care of, or were assisting in the care of another person who has been lawfully prescribed the drug.

Under Section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), anyone found in possession of a “trafficable quantity” of drugs are considered to be in possession of those drugs for the purposes of supply. The trafficable quantities of each drug are found in Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), and for some of the more popular “party drugs” are in fact quite low. For example, the trafficable quantity of MDMA (ecstasy) is 0.75grams; the trafficable quantity for cocaine, amphetamines and heroin is 3 grams. With the average ecstasy tablet containing 0.1gram of MDMA, someone found in possession of 8 ecstasy tablets, depending on the quality and strength, would be considered to be a trafficable quantity and therefore charged with deemed supply.

In order to defend a charge of supply, the defendant would need to prove that the drugs were intended for personal use.  This would be quite difficult to prove in circumstances where other items associated with the supply of drugs are also found, such as bags, scales, large amounts of money or multiple mobile phones.

How we can help you

Drug Offences can be serious but our NSW Criminal Lawyers team has the expertise to defend you in court. There are a number of options available and it is important to obtain independent legal advice as soon as possible.