Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Cultivating a Controlled Plant For Selling
In the ACT it is an offence to cultivate a controlled plant for the purpose of selling it or any of its products. This includes cultivating a controlled plant with the belief that someone else intends to sell it or any of its products. You can be convicted of this offence even if you have only cultivated a single controlled plant. The penalties for this offence range from a fine of 1000 penalty units and/or 10 years imprisonment for cultivating a single controlled plant, to life imprisonment for cultivating a large commercial quantity of controlled plants.
Penalties the court can impose:
- Imprisonment (Jail – Full Time)
- Intensive Correction Order (previously Periodic Detention)
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order (CSO)
- Good Behaviour Order
- Section 17 (ACT): Non-conviction Order
The Offence of Cultivating a Controlled Plant For Selling
The offence of cultivating a controlled plant for selling is contained in section 616 of the Criminal Code 2002 which states that a person commits an offence if they cultivate a controlled plant:
- with the intention of selling the plant or any of its products; or
- believing that someone else intends to sell the plant or any of its products.
The penalties for this offence range from a fine of 1,000 penalty units to life imprisonment, depending on the quantity cultivated. The specific penalties are set out below.
|Quantity of Controlled Plant||Maximum penalty|
|Single plant||1000 penalty units and/or 10 years imprisonment|
|Commercial quantity||2500 penalty units and/or 25 years imprisonment|
|Large commercial quantity||Life imprisonment|
What is Cultivation?
To understand why you may be charged with this offence, it is important to acknowledge the broad definition given to the act of cultivation. The terms “cultivates” and “cultivation” are defined in section 615 of the Criminal Code 2002 which states that:
A person “cultivates” a plant if the person:
- engages in its cultivation; or
- exercises control or direction over its cultivation; or
- provides or arranges finances for its cultivation.
“Cultivation” of a plant includes:
- planting a seed, seedling or cutting of the plant or transporting the plant; or
- nurturing, tending or growing the plant; or
- guarding or concealing the plant (including against interference or discovery by humans or natural predators); or
- harvesting the plant (including picking any part of the plant or separating any resin or other substance from the plant).
If you have been involved in any of the above and you either:
- intended to sell the plant or any of its products; or
- believed someone else intended to sell the plant or any of its products
then you may be charged with cultivating a controlled plant for selling. It is not necessary for you to have been involved in the cultivation from start to finish or to have been solely responsible for the cultivation in order to be charged with cultivation.
Because the offence includes cultivation for the purpose of selling products of the plant, it is also necessary to understand what this encompasses. The term “product” is also defined in section 615 of the Code, which states that products include:
- a seed of the plant; and
- a part of the plant (whether live or dead); and
- a substance separated from the plant.
What Actions Might Constitute Cultivating a Controlled Plant for Selling?
Examples of cultivating a controlled plant include:
- scattering seeds of a controlled plant in a secluded area of your parents’ 500-hectare property;
- watering your partner’s controlled plants;
- planting a controlled plant you got from a friend in one of your favourite pots and ensuring it gets enough water and sunlight;
- concealing controlled plants to avoid other people discovering them; or
- harvesting the buds from a controlled plant for your brother to consume.
Doing any of the above with the intention of selling the plant/its products, or believing that someone else intends to sell the plant/its products, will constitute cultivating a controlled plant for selling. Cultivation does not require you to have been involved from start to finish or to have been solely responsible for the cultivation.
What the Police Must Prove
To convict you of cultivating a controlled plant for selling, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:
- that you cultivated a plant; and
- that plant was a controlled plant; and
- that you either:
- intended to sell the plant; or
- intended to sell any of the plant’s products; or
- believed someone else intended to sell the plant; or
- believed someone else intended to sell any of the plant’s products; and
- that the quantity cultivated is equal to, or greater than, the quantity that you have been charged with cultivating.
Although the prosecution has to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you intended (or believed someone else intended) to sell the plant/its products, it should be noted that there is a legal presumption that this was in fact the case if you cultivated a trafficable quantity (or more) of the controlled plant. This presumption is contained in Section 617 of the Code. What this means is that if you cultivated a trafficable quantity of the controlled plant, the onus is on you to rebut the presumption and show that it was not your intention to sell or have someone else sell the plant/its products. This presumption exists because it is presumed that a trafficable quantity is too much to be merely for personal use, and therefore must be intended for sale.
Possible Defences for Cultivating a Controlled Plant for Selling
A person charged with this can argue in their defence that:
- they were not cultivating the plant; or
- the plant was not a controlled plant; or
- they did not cultivate the plant with the intention of selling it or any of its products, and did not believe someone else had the intention of selling it or any of its products.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
This is an indictable matter and will be heard in the ACT Supreme Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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