Drug Possession- Section 10(1) of the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985
A person who has a prohibited drug in his or her possession is guilty of this offence.
The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/ or fine in the sum of $2,200
Your Options in Court
Pleading Not Guilty
For the offence to be established, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following two elements:
- An illegal drug was in your ‘custody’ or ‘control’, and
- You knew that you had custody or control of a prohibited drug, that is, your actual knowledge must be proved. Knowledge can be inferred from the circumstances in which the drugs were discovered.
Proving ‘Custody’ or ‘Control’
Prosecution must prove that you actually had control over the illegal drugs found. If the illegal substance is found in your car or house, it does not necessarily prove that you own everything found inside of the house or car.
If you are aware there are illegal drugs in your house or car, but someone else is the had control of them, the offence of possession of drugs is not made out.
What does ‘Custody’ or ‘Control’ mean?
- Custody- immediate physical possession, for example- something in your pockets
- Control- you have the right to do something with the illegal drugs, for example- consume it, share it or keep it
However, if you had the illicit substance in your control momentarily, for example- smoked a ‘joint’ and passed them to another person, then the offence is made out and you could be found guilty of possession.
It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.
If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to drug possession after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence.
Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment
The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.
The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.
Types of Penalties
Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:
Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.
Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.
These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.