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Drug Charges

The Drugs Misuse Act is difficult legislation to navigate. Often people do not appreciate the seriousness or consequences of being charged under this Act. Penalties can range from good behaviour bonds up to lengthy periods of imprisonment.

The following are examples of the types of drug offences that are governed by the Drugs Misuse Act and the Drugs Misuse Regulation.


Dangerous Drugs

The Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (QLD) is the main piece of legislation when dealing with Dangerous Drugs however the list of dangerous drugs are contained in schedules one and two of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987 (QLD).

Some examples of schedule one dangerous drugs include Cocaine, Heroin, Amphetamine and Lysergide.

Some examples of schedule two dangerous drugs include Cannabis, Methadone, Coca Leaf and Morphine.


Trafficking drugs

A person who unlawfully trafficks in a dangerous drug can find themselves in jail for up to 25 years for a schedule one drug and up to 20 years for a schedule two drug.

Trafficking conveys the notion of trading in or dealing with. If a person sells a drug to someone else, he or she is trafficking. Even a single transaction can constitute trafficking.

A person charged with trafficking a dangerous drug will have their matter finalised in either the District Court or the Supreme Court depending on the type of drug involved. The penalties for Trafficking in a dangerous drug are severe and usually include actual imprisonment.

A person sentenced to a term of actual imprisonment will have to serve 80% of their sentence before they are eligible for release from custody. A person charged with Trafficking may also have their assets forfeited to the State.


Supplying drugs

A person who Supplies a dangerous drug to someone else is guilty of a crime.

Supply has a very broad definition and includes not only giving, selling, administering, transporting or distributing a drug but also offering to do such things or even doing any act in preparation of doing such things. Supply does not necessarily have to be to another. It can also include arranging a supply to yourself. It is not necessary that the drug is supplied for monetary or any other type of gain. Simply giving a dangerous drug to another person constitutes supply.

The offence of supplying a dangerous drug attracts a maximum penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment if the drug is a schedule one drug or 20 years imprisonment if the drug is a schedule two drug.

A circumstance of aggravation applies where the drugs are supplied by an adult to a minor, a person with an intellectual impairment, someone within an educational institute or correctional centre, or a person who does not know they are being supplied with dangerous drugs. Should a person supply a Schedule one drug to a minor then the maximum penalty increases to life imprisonment.

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Producing drugs

A person who produces a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.

In the eyes of the law, Producing drugs not only includes preparing, manufacturing, cultivating, and/or packaging but also offering to do such things or even undertaking any act in preparation of doing such things.

The offence of producing a dangerous drug can be finalised in any of the Magistrates, District or Supreme Courts depending on the drug involved and the quantity of the drug.

A person who produces a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment for a schedule one drug and up to 20 years imprisonment for a schedule two drug.


Possessing a dangerous drug

Possessing a dangerous drug is a crime. It is the most common drug offence that comes before the Courts.

For a person to be found to be in possession of a dangerous drug, it must be established beyond a reasonable doubt that they were aware of the existence of the drug and exercising control over the drug. A person must also be aware that the substance is a drug or have a suspicion that it is a drug.

Regardless of whether the drug is yours or not, if it is in your possession you are committing a crime.

If a drug is found in a place where a person resides, then that drug is deemed to be in that person’s possession unless they can show that they did not know nor had reason to suspect that the drug was in that place. Should a drug be found in a person’s house or motor vehicle then that person is deemed to be in possession of the drug unless they can show that they did not know the drug was there.

Some possible defences to possessing a dangerous drug are:

  1. Not having control of the drug
  2. Not having knowledge of or reason to suspect the existence or nature of the drug
  3. Duress
  4. That the substance, by law, is not a dangerous drug
  5. Mistake of Fact.

The offence of possessing a dangerous drug can be finalised in any of the Magistrates, District or Supreme Courts depending on the drug involved and the quantity of the drug.

The penalties for possessing a dangerous drug include a maximum 25 years imprisonment for a schedule one drug and a maximum 20 years imprisonment for a schedule two drug.


Permitting use of place

It is a crime for a person who is an occupier, or who is concerned with the management or control of a place to allow that place to be used for the commission of a drug offence. It does not need to be shown that the person had any involvement in the offence other than allowing the place to be used for the commission of a drug offence.

Some examples of permitting use of place include:

  1. The owner of a property allowing a tenant to grow Cannabis on the property;
  2. The owner of a business allowing a person to sell drugs from that business.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years imprisonment.


WHY FISHER DORE?

We have specially trained drug offence lawyers who represent clients charged with these offences every day. Call us immediately if the police wish to speak to you, or you have been charged with a drug offence.

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