Drugs are a significant issue in our society. You may have a loved one who is addicted, or have tried to stop your own drug use. The penalties for drug trafficking and possession for sale are serious indeed. Criminal Assets Confiscation proceedings are now used as the new weapon against drugs. With the internet we are seeing a rise in Commonwealth Importation charges with many illicit drugs coming in via the ‘dark web’ from overseas locations. As policing methods have evolved so have the best criminal lawyers. At Woods & Co we are aware of the need to be abreast of technology and be able to engage the right experts when and as required. We have defended people successfully with importation charges and high profile drug trafficking charges and taken matters to the Court of Criminal Appeal and even to the High Court of Australia. We are experienced in defending drug charges and just as importantly we make persuasive and convincing submissions on your behalf should you choose to plead guilty. We are adept at helping you decide whether to plead guilty at an early stage and take advantage of statutory discounts. Our experienced solicitors assist you to put the right programmes in place to assist your rehabilitation and obtain a successful court outcome. We listen! – We help! We deliver!
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 produce for the purpose of sale, unless you can prove otherwise.
It is an offence to cultivate any controlled plant. If you cultivate 1 cannabis plant (without artificial lights, heat, water or nutrients, etc.), then you may 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.
If you cultivate greater than 20 plants (including clones) then you matter may have to be heard in the Central District Criminal Court where higher penalties exists.
Generally, cultivation is the growing and tending of the plants and once harvesting occurs the produce is considered to constitute possession. That can lead to unfair outcomes in our view. At Woods & Co we are experienced in negotiating favourable outcomes for our clients.
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. In many cases a suspended sentence is not able to be given by the court even for a first offender unless certain circumstances are met.
By way of example, 250g of cannabis or more is considered a trafficable quantity. In addition, 2kg of cannabis is considered a large commercial quantity and if convicted a court must impose immediate imprisonment, unless exceptional circumstances are made out. If the cannabis has been freshly harvested it may still be wet and places and offender in a higher range. In addition 2gms of amphetamine or 2 grams of cocaine amount to a trafficable quantity 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. Further, social supply to your friends without financial reward is also considered trafficking. It is important to obtain the right advice on your matter from an experienced lawyer. Please consider allowing the team at Woods & Co to assist you?
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.
To make an appointment with our drug offence lawyers Adelaide call our friendly staff on 08 8311 3111. We also like to keep the community informed with news and reminders on Facebook. Please like or follow us on Facebook to get the information you might need.
Commonwealth Importation charges are becoming more common. Both the methods of importation and the investigative techniques used by police and customs have changed. Now drugs are commonly available on the ‘dark web’. The new way is to order drugs online and pay for them using bitcoins and wallets in the cloud. This method is more difficult to detect but more and more police resources are being applied to detection. At Woods & Co Lawyers our team of solicitors have both the knowledge and experience to understand the process and advise you accordingly. We have been successful in defending Commonwealth Importation charges. We have been involved in large marketable and commercial importation cases under the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Crimes Act 1914 Cth.
Traditionally, police require a drug search warrant to search your premises. In South Australia we are unique in that detectives in the police force are issued General Search Warrants which allow them to search your house provided they entertain certain suspicions. In more recent times police have been provided with unprecedented powers to search you in declared public precincts. This includes areas such as Hindley Street between certain hours. The powers are wide and no suspicion is required. In our view this impedes your rights but our complaints will fall on deaf ears. The power to search a person has always been based upon a reasonable suspicion or belief. Invasion of citizens rights continues. Sniffer dogs have been allowed to explore people at venues and the courts have not considered this an actual search. Often the reaction of the person to the dog is the basis for the suspicion. At Woods & Co we can advise you whether the search was illegal and protect your rights. Search arguments are complex but we will continue to challenge illegal searches.
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.
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