Supplying Prohibited Drugs On An Ongoing Basis
In NSW there is a specific offence of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis. The offence applies to all prohibited drugs except cannabis. A person can be charged with the offence if they supply any amount of drugs on three separate occasions within any 30 day period in exchange for money or some other compensation. The offence is extremely serious and carries a maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $385,000. This is one of the highest maximum penalties for drug related offences in NSW.
The offence of supplying prohibited drug on an ongoing basis was passed into law in 1998, with the aim being to specifically target ‘street level dealers’ who parliament believed were evading being charged and convicted of the then current offences under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, but only carrying and supplying small quantities of prohibited drugs at the street level.
The Offence Of Supplying Prohibited Drugs On An Ongoing Basis
The offence of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis is contained in s 25A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, which states:
A person who, on 3 or more separate occasions during any period of 30 consecutive days, supplies a prohibited drug (other than cannabis) for financial or material reward is guilty of an offence.
What Actions Might Constitute Supplying Prohibited Drugs On An Ongoing Basis?
Common examples of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis include the following:
- Dealing drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, ice or heroin three or more times in a month;
- A person agreeing to organise cocaine for themselves and their friends in exchange for not having to pay for all of their share three Saturday nights in the same month;
- A person selling a friend a small amount of ice every week from their own stash;
- Buying 60 pills for $600 and selling 20 pills each to three different street dealers on three separate occasions within a month for $250 each transaction.
What The Police Must Prove
To convict a person of supplying prohibited drug on an ongoing basis, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond reasonable doubt:
- An accused person, on three or more separate occasions,
- During 30 consecutive days,
- Supplied any prohibited drug (other than cannabis) or a combination of prohibited drugs (other than cannabis),
- For financial or material reward.
Possible Defences For Supplying Prohibited Drugs On An Ongoing Basis
The possible ways defences this charge are:
- That the person did not supply any drugs;
- That the drugs were not prohibited drugs, and that they were not represented as such;
- That the person did not supply prohibited drugs on three or more separate occasions within 30 consecutive days;
- That the person did not receive a financial or material reward; or
- That the person was acting under duress.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
Beginning 30 May 2021, the charge of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis is a Table 1 indictable offence, meaning that it will be finalised in the Local Court summarily, unless the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions elects for it to be dealt with on indictment in the District Court. This is as per clause 30C in Table 1 of Schedule 1 to the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.
Sentencing statistics available for supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis demonstrate that in many cases, the Local Court is still imposing lengthy periods of imprisonment for this offence. This emphasises the need for a person charged with this offence to obtain quality legal advice from lawyers experiences in this area.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.