Drug Lawyers Brisbane

What is a drug offence

There are many offences which relate to drugs and these can be found in the Drugs Misuse Act. On the lower end of the scale, a person can be convicted of possessing a small amount of cannabis for their own use. On the more serious end of the scale, a person can be convicted for trying to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of heroin into Australia. For simplicity, the various drug offences can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Possessing a dangerous drug;
  • Producing a dangerous drug;
  • Trafficking in a dangerous drug; or
  • Supplying a dangerous drug.

There are also other related drug offences such as possessing drug-related equipment or permitting a place to be used for a drug offence. The common factor is that all of these offences involved drugs, whether directly or indirectly.

Drug offences are generally heard in the Magistrates Court, District Court or the Supreme Court, depending on the specific offence.

What are the penalties

There are many different penalties that can apply due to the wide range of possible offences.

For minor offences such as possession of recreational drugs for personal use, the penalty may be nothing more than a fine. There are also court diversion programs available in certain circumstances which allow a person to avoid a conviction for some of the minor drug offences.

Some repeat or ongoing drug users may benefit from a period of probation which provides them with opportunities to receive counselling and other support. The courts however cannot order a person to attend probation and they are therefore voluntary. Probation orders are most common for younger offenders as they have the best chance of rehabilitation.

For more serious offences the penalty can extend to jail terms of up to 25 years.

The courts can also order that a criminal conviction should be recorded on a person’s criminal history. This can have serious consequences on a person’s ability to gain employment and to travel and therefore it is always better to avoid a conviction being recorded, if possible.

How we can help you

The courts treat drug offences very seriously and impose harsh penalties as a lesson to others. For this reason, you need to make sure that if you are convicted of a drug offence, you receive an appropriate penalty. We can help you obtain the best outcome possible in the circumstances as well as helping you make an application for a court diversion program, if appropriate.