Drug Supply QLD

In Queensland, supply of a dangerous drug carries a maximum penalty of 3 years’ imprisonment if dealt with in the Magistrate’s Court. More serious offences will be dealt with in the District or Supreme Court, and carry maximum penalties of between 15 years’ and life imprisonment, depending on the type and quantity of the drug, and any aggravating factors. Aggravating factors may include whether the person who received the drug is a minor, intellectually impaired, or is in a school or a correctional facility.

The Offence of Supplying A Dangerous Drug:

The offence of Supplying a Dangerous Drug is contained in section 6 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986, which states: A person who unlawfully supplies a dangerous drug to another, whether or not such other person is in Queensland, is guilty of a crime.

What Actions Might Constitute Supplying A Dangerous Drug?

There is a list of dangerous drugs set out in Schedules 1 and 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987.

Supply includes giving, selling, administering or transporting a dangerous drug. It also includes offering to do any of those things, or doing or offering to do any act contributing to that purpose (for example, weighing drugs and dividing them up into individual packaging).

What the Police Must Prove:

To convict you of Supplying a Dangerous Drug, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You knowingly supplied to another person, inside or outside Queensland;
  • A dangerous drug;
  • Without lawful excuse.

Possible Defences for Supplying A Dangerous Drug:

Possible defences to a Supply Dangerous Drug charge includes an honest and reasonable mistake – that is, genuinely and reasonably believing that the drug was in fact not a dangerous drug, but some other, lawful item.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

This is determined by the type and quantity of the drug in question. Most minor offences involving small amounts of a drug will be heard by the Magistrate’s Court. More serious offences, involving large quantities, will be heard either in the District or Supreme Courts.

Types of Penalties:

Imprisonment : Even though it is not a sentence of last resort (as it is in some other states) imprisonment is the most serious penalty which a court can impose upon a person. At its most severe a sentence of imprisonment means that a person must spend a specified period of time within a correctional facility, also called a prison, a jail or a gaol. Read more.

Intensive corrections order (ICO): An Intensive Corrections Order (‘ICO’ for short) is, technically, a form of imprisonment but which is served wholly in the community. This means that a person who is made subject to an ICO will not spend any time in prison but will, instead, be required to adhere to a number of requirements that the court will order. Read more.

Probation: A court can make a Probation Order either by itself, meaning the whole of the sentence is probation, or as a component of a sentence of imprisonment, meaning that a person is ordered to serve a period of time (not longer than 1 year) in prison and is then subject to a probation requirement upon release. Read more.

Community service order(CSO): As the name implies, a Community Service Order (‘CSO’ for short) is an order which requires a person to perform unpaid work, normally at some kind of community facility, for a stated number of hours (to a maximum of 240) within a nominated time (usually 6 or 12 months). Read More.

Recognisance: A recognisance is a promise which a person makes to be of good behaviour for a stated period of time. A court is empowered to release a person who enters into a recognisance, either with a surety, which is a sum of money which the person agrees to pay if they breach the recognisance, or without one. Read More.

Fines: A court is empowered to impose a fine, which is a sum of money which a person is required to pay to the State, for any offence regardless of whether the law creating it nominates a fine as part of the applicable penalty. Read More.

Section 19 dismissal: A court can discharge a person absolutely, or upon them entering into a recognisance, without recording a conviction against them, if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so. Read More.

In all cases where you are sentenced to a penalty other than jail, the Court can choose not to record a conviction against you, meaning your criminal record will remain clear and any complications with work or travel may be avoided.


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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