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Splendour in the Grass

North Byron Parklands is home to this year’s Splendour in the Grass Festival with headliners Lorde and Kendrick Lamar. This weekend’s three-day festival starting Friday 20 July 2018 is set to host over 35,000 attendees – and scores of police officers.

Tweed-Byron police Chief Inspector Gary Cowan has confirmed there will be sniffer dogs out in force to apprehend drug users and suppliers. Unlike recent Sydney festivals, entry will not be denied following unsuccessful searches however police may refuse entry to anyone who is caught in possession of, or supplying, illegal drugs.

At Armstrong Legal, we act for hundreds of festival goers each year who are charged with offences relating to drugs, violence or unlawful entry to festivals. A criminal charge is a serious matter. It can have devastating impacts on a person’s employment, career prospects and ability to travel (especially a drug charge).

Just because it’s a first offence does not mean you will automatically get a slap on the wrist, i.e. a “section 10”. It’s also important to note that a bond pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act may appear on criminal history searches while the bond is active.

If you’re attending the festival, it’s important to remember that:

  1. You do not need to give an interview to police. You should always speak to a lawyer prior to giving an interview;
  2. Police do not need to record your refusal;
  3. Police are more and more often wearing body worn camera’s and can record any admissions you make;
  4. Telling the police that you were intending to share drugs with your friends may be making admissions to a much more serious offence of Supply Prohibited Drug, even if money wasn’t to be exchanged;
  5. It doesn’t matter what you wrap drugs in, or where you conceal drugs, sniffer dogs may still be able to detect the drugs you are carrying; and
  6. You don’t have to let police look through your phone.

We always recommend speaking to a lawyer if you are charged. Getting legal advice prior to giving an interview to police, or attending court is critical.

Anyone charged with offences at this year’s Splendour will be assigned a date at Byron Bay Local Court. In some circumstances matters can be adjourned to a Local Court closer to where you live.

As always, Armstrong Legal are here to help and can be contacted on 1300 168 676 or 0404 55 88 33 after hours

Written by Trudie Cameron on July 20, 2018

Trudie combines her impressive skills in advocacy and legal analysis with a focus on her client's interests and wellbeing. Her experience working for senior barristers prior to starting at Armstrong Legal gives her a unique insight into criminal advocacy and practice. View Trudie's profile

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