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Drug Possession QLD

In Queensland, possession 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 and 25 years’ imprisonment, depending on the type and quantity of the drug.

The offence of Possessing a Dangerous Drug is contained in section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986, which states: A person who unlawfully has possession of a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.

What actions might constitute possession of a dangerous drug?

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

The term “possess” is very broadly defined, in line with how the word is commonly used, including having dangerous drugs on your person, for example in your pocket. It also extends to having control of the drugs, such as having them in a car that you are driving or a bag that belongs to you.

What the police must prove

To convict you of possessing a dangerous drug, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • you knowingly had in your possession;
  • a dangerous drug;
  • without lawful excuse.

Possession can include joint possession between multiple persons; having control over the drug, even if another person had physical custody of it; and having it in a car or house, or other place to which only you have access.

Possible Defences for Possess Dangerous Drug

Possible defences include 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 Magistrates Court. More serious offences, involving large quantities, will be heard either in the District or Supreme Courts.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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