Drug Offences

Criminal law  >  Drug Offences
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Adelaide, SA 5000

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Defence for Drug Offences in Adelaide

Drug Offences


In Adelaide, drug offences are as prevalent as they are in any major city. In South Australia, drug offences and the laws are constantly changing. On 3 December 2007, the majority of the drug laws changed. Essentially, the law breaks down offences into different categories.

Possession Offences


If you possess, smoke or administer to yourself a controlled drug that is not cannabis then you may receive a referral to an assessment panel and be diverted from the court system. If the process is not successful, you can still be charged.

If you possess, smoke, or consume cannabis, or possess equipment, then you might receive an expiation notice if it is for personal use. This only applies if you have less than 100g of cannabis (or 20g of resin - oil is not expiable). In addition, the offence is not expiable if your offence occurs in a public place or place of entertainment.

In other cases, you will be required to attend court and if found guilty you will have a criminal record for drug offences. We strongly advise you seek our service in this instance.

Trafficking of Controlled Drugs


You are likely to be charged with trafficking of controlled drugs if you possess drugs with the intention of selling them or to take part in that process. Of course, if you actually sell them the case is made far easier to prove. However, if you possess more than the prescribed amount, then you are deemed to be in possession of a trafficable quantity. In that case, it is presumed, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that you had the intention and belief to sell them or possess them for sale. In other words, if you have possession of a trafficable quantity then you have to prove you did not have them for sale or did not intend to sell them or take part in any sale. We at Woods & Co Lawyers are Criminal Law specialists and can assist you in this regard.

Penalties for trafficking controlled drugs are very severe. Even for trafficking a small quantity the maximum penalty is 10 years in gaol or a $50,000 fine. If you have commercial quantities or large commercial quantities, as defined by the Act, then penalties of up to life imprisonment are available for serious cases.

By way of example, 250g of cannabis or more is considered a trafficable quantity. 2gms of amphetamine or 2 grams of cocaine will also suffice. These amounts include the final mixed product and it doesn't need to be pure.

We point out that you can be charged with trafficking for having less than a trafficable amount if there is other evidence to support the charge.

Manufacture of Controlled Drugs or Precursors


If you manufacture a controlled drug with the intention to sell it, or while believing another intends to sell it, then you commit an offence. Again, if proven that you were manufacturing greater than a trafficable quantity, then the court presumes you possessed the relevant belief or intent to constitute the offence. You will need to prove otherwise. In addition, if you manufacture precursors or sell them believing they will be made into a controlled drug, then you also commit an offence.

The seriousness of the offences is determined in part by the amount you intended to manufacture and commercial quantities and large commercial quantities attract significant penalties.

Sale and Cultivation of Controlled Plants


If you sell a controlled plant or any of its product (cannabis, seeds or part of the plant) or have possession of a controlled plant for that purpose you commit an offence. If you have greater than a trafficable quantity then it is deemed you had it, or its product for the purpose of sale unless you can prove otherwise.

It is still an offence to cultivate any controlled plant. If you cultivate 1 cannabis plant (without artificial lights, heat, water or nutrients, etc.), then you might receive an expiation notice as long as it was for your personal use. Even if you manufacture 1 cannabis plant hydroponically, you will have to go to court and risk a criminal record.

If you cultivate a single controlled plant to supply (which includes to distribute or offer) to another, or have greater than 5 plants, then you will have to go to court. Remember, if you have more than 10 plants, you are deemed to have a trafficable quantity and will have to prove you did not cultivate or possess them for sale.

General Drug Offences


The above is certainly not exhaustive. Other offences exist for supplying controlled substances and manufacturing even for personal use. There are many types of drug offences which all vary in seriousness. There are Commonwealth Offences that deal in importation and Customs Offences. There are other offences dealing in the forging and uttering of prescription drugs. These are just a few.

At Woods & Co Lawyers, we are Criminal Law specialists and have dealt with many serious drug-related matters and have challenged drug laws at the highest level even taking matters to the High Court of Australia.

Given Mr Woods' past experience as a Detective in the Police Force we understand and know all of the approaches investigators are likely to take. This is a distinct advantage to you in defending a drug charge.

There is no doubt that the drug laws are quite complex and Parliament have been increasing the penalties regularly. It is important that you seek the advice of one of our competent solicitors who understand the law in this area.

Can my assets be seized for a drug offence?


Be aware that the new attack on drugs is to restrain and seize assets. If you are convicted of a serious offence, then all of your assets could potentially be forfeited, even if you can show that you came by them honestly. A serious offence includes any indictable offences and a number of drug offences that can be heard in the summary courts. This is a very complex area of the law and you should seek legal advice if charged with a drug offence. There are recent powerful laws that give the prosecution power to make application to forfeit your assets despite not being able to prove a criminal charge against you.

There are many things we can do at Woods & Co Lawyers to assist you in this area and you should ask one of our solicitors about your particular case.

Call our team today on 08 8311 3111 for more information.

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