Likely Penalties for Drug Supply on an Ongoing Basis
What Penalty am I Likely to Receive for a Charge of Supplying Drugs on an Ongoing Basis?
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a charge of drug supply:
- Section 10 – matter proven but dismissed
- Good behaviour bond
- Community Service Order
- Suspended sentence
- Periodic detention
- Home detention
- Prison sentence
You will find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.
Maximum Penalties for Supplying Drugs on an Ongoing Basis
This offence is committed when a person supplies drugs on 3 or more separate occasions during 30 consecutive days. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of $385,000.00 and/or 20 years imprisonment.
Penalties imposed by the District Court for all offenders charged with supplying drugs on an ongoing basis for the most common drugs (cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines & heroin):
Note the sentencing statistics for section 10, fine and home detention was less than 1% for each drug and so was not included.
Jail sentences imposed in the District Court for all offenders charged with supplying drugs on an ongoing basis. The graph below shows the length of sentences imposed.
Types of Penalties
Common penalties are outlined below.
Section 10 – avoiding a criminal record
Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal or traffic offence the Court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction you will have a criminal record. However, if we were able to convince the court not to convict you, there would be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases a court has the discretion not to convict you but deal with you under the terms of section 10.
By far the most common penalty imposed by the Local Court is a fine. When deciding the amount of any fine the Magistrate or Judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.
Good behaviour bonds
A good behaviour bond is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is 5 years.
Community service order
A Community Service Order (CSO) involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by Probation and Parole or attendance at a Centre to undertake a course, such as Anger Management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the Probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Certain medical conditions could exclude you from being suitable to undertake a work order.
A suspended sentence (Section 12 good behaviour bond) is a gaol sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the gaol sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to 2 years.
Periodic detention is a form of imprisonment. It involves detention in a periodic detention centre for a two day period each week for the length of the sentence set by the court. The two-day period commences at 7.00 pm on the day of the week specified (usually Friday) and ends at 4.30 pm on the second day following the day so specified (usually Sunday).
This is the most severe form of punishment and involves being locked up in a prison. Before a court imposes a prison sentence it must be satisfied that no other penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.