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In NSW, possessing a prohibited drug carries a maximum penalty of 20 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment. Though this is the most minor form of offence in relation to prohibited substances, it is still treated very seriously by the Courts and a criminal conviction is likely.
In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a possess prohibited drug charge.
The offence of possessing a prohibited drug is contained in section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act which states that: "a person who has a prohibited drug in his or her possession is guilty of an offence."
If you are in possession of a traffickable quantity of a drug, it is presumed that you possess the drugs for the purposes of supply, unless you can prove that they were only for personal use.
To convict you of possessing a prohibited drug, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
It is a defence for a charge of possessing a prohibited drug if you are:
This matter is a summary matter and will be heard in the Local Court.
The form seems straight forward and can seem to be an attractive alternative to attending court in person. However using them can be a very bad idea.
It is important to be wary of Police that convey to you that they you can simply complete the written notice instead of attending court. While technically true, it is not advisable. Not only does it reflect poorly on you but you can be convicted and sentenced in your absence with little chance to advocate your case. Read More >
The consequences of a conviction can be serious depending upon what you do for a living. Some jobs require you to have no criminal convictions and a conviction for drug possession might jeopardise your job or make it difficult to obtain visas for overseas travel. Moreover a conviction for a drug offence can completely rule out certain career paths such as teaching and a range of government employment options. Drug offences may also result in sentences that include imprisonment even where an individual has no previous convictions.
It is important to get legal advice at an early stage to ascertain precisely what the consequences of a conviction may be and whether you have a defence to the charge.
The penalties for a drug possession charge in NSW range from imprisonment, including home detention, intensive correction orders, suspended prison sentences, community service, good behaviour bonds fines and possibly non-conviction good behaviour bonds.
The penalty for a first time offence for drug possession in NSW is usually less severe than one could expect if they were to commit the offence for a second time. You may well be convicted, which can interfere with work and travel, other likely penalties could be good behaviour bonds, fines and non-conviction good behaviour bonds.
Yes. A person can be sentenced to up to two years in jail for a drug possession charge.
A drug possession charge will involve a criminal record showing a criminal conviction unless the court imposes a non-conviction under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.
A person may be fined if they are convicted of possessing a prohibited drug but there are also more and less serious penalties that could be imposed.
The maximum sentence for drug possession in NSW is two years in jail.
It is possible, the court may impose a non-conviction under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a drug possession charge.
No. Drug possession is not an indictable offence it is a summary offence.
The consequences for possessing drugs can include being charged with a criminal offence, having to go to court, being convicted of a criminal offence or penalties which range from a a period of imprisonment up to two years to a non-conviction finding of guilt.
Deemed supply is a criminal offence where a person is “deemed” to supply a drug because they are in possession of a certain amount of that drug. The amount ‘deemed’ varies from substance to substance.
A lawyer who is well versed in the law and procedure will be best placed to give you the opportunity of obtaining a non-conviction finding but you don’t have to have a lawyer if you are comfortable that you know the law and understand the procedure of competently presenting your matter to the court.
Home Detention for a possess prohibited drug charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.
Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) for a possess prohibited drug charge: This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.
Suspended Sentence for a possess prohibited drug charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.
Community Service Order (CSO) for a possess prohibited drug charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This 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. Read more.
Good Behaviour Bond for a possess prohibited drug charge: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This 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 five years. Read more.
Community Corrections Orders (CCO) for a possess prohibited drug charge: A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.
Conditional Release Order (CRO) for a possess prohibited drug charge: A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.
Section 10 for a possess prohibited drug charge avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal 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 can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.
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.