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Drug Trafficking

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

Drug trafficking is a broad term for supplying prohibited drugs. In NSW, there is no specific charge of "drug trafficking", rather, it is a general term, referring to various categories of charges found in Part 2, Division 2 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, including:-

  • A commercial supply of a prohibited drug, possibly with the connotation of supply on more than one occasion. This includes exchanges, offers or agreements to sell, and possession with the intent to sell. To differentiate between a supply that is for commercial purposes and one that is not, see our page on social supply.
  • Production, manufacture or cultivation of a prohibited drug or plant. This encompasses a wide range of actions, including participating in or causing any step in the process of the manufacture or cultivation to be performed, generally for the purpose of then selling the drug or plant, though the law would be equally relevant if a person is, for example, growing a cannabis plant for themselves.
  • Conspiring, aiding or abetting the commission of any of the above offences, in NSW or in another jurisdiction.

There is an implication that any charge referred to as 'trafficking' would involve substantial quantities of the prohibited drug or plant, that is, a quantity at least the traffickable quantity listed in Schedule 1 of the Act.

Should I participate in a recorded interview with police if they are investigating me for drug trafficking?

Generally, solicitors will advise against participating in a taped interview with police while under investigation. However, there are times where participating in an interview may be appropriate. It is vital that you get competent legal advice as soon as possible if you are aware that you are being investigated for drug trafficking.

Will I be given bail for a drug trafficking charge?

Given the seriousness of the charge, bail would likely be a contentious issue. There are a number of factors that the police and/or Court will take into account when determining bail including the seriousness of the charge, the strength of the prosecution case, your personal circumstances and your prior record (if any). For further consideration of bail issues see our page on bail.

In NSW, the Bail Act provides that there will be a presumption against bail for a charge of cultivate, supply, or manufacture a prohibited drug, or the conspiring, aiding or abetting of those offences, where the amount of the drug is greater than the commercial quantity. That is not to say that bail will never be granted, however, it is important to seek legal advice early as to the prospects of bail.

What will be my sentence?

In relation to sentencing, the Court of Criminal Appeal has determined that a person who is involved in trafficking must receive a full-time custodial sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances: R v Carrion (2000) 49 NSWLR 149. This principle has been confirmed and applied in subsequent decisions.

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.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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