If you have been charged with a commercial quantity of drugs, drug supply or drug possession, you should contact one of the experienced Sydney Drug Lawyers at George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers as soon as possible. If you have been reprimanded in custody and require an urgent bail application. You can call us on (02) 9261 8640 or email Georgesten@criminal-lawyer.com.au. We are dedicated to helping our clients 24 hours, 7 days a week, so if your matter is urgent in nature, call us on our 24 hour phone number: 0412 423 569.
At George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers, we are passionate about advocating for our clients. Our Sydney Drug Lawyers are highly experienced and will apply their expert knowledge of drug supply offences and defences to your case. If necessary, we may use statements from friends, family, colleagues or reports from professionals such as psychologists to support our case. The prosecution will have an opportunity to challenge this argument. The sentence for each offence will differ as to a certain extent; sentencing is left to the discretion of the magistrate of judge handing down the sentence. This article will explore the different penalties, which you may be liable for if you are convicted of a drug supply related offence. These types of offences are punishable by terms of imprisonment. Being sentenced to this type of penalty can be detrimental to every aspect of your life, so it is imperative that you seek legal advice.
Commercial Quantity of Drug Supply -A recent case
In late December 2016, one of the biggest drug busts in Australian history took place. A drug syndicate that had been operating for years importing prohibited drugs from South America to Australia was foiled. Fifteen arrests were made including the arrest of well-known Eastern Suburbs businessman Darren Mohr.
Over 100 officers of the New South Wales Police Force, Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force were involved in the Christmas and Boxing Day bust. Over one tonne of cocaine and 32 kilograms of heroine were intercepted. The street value of the total haul is over $370 million.
Each person involved in this drug ring is now facing varying charges for their role in the alleged ring. These charges range from fines to terms of imprisonment. Below you will find an outline of the likely penalties that you could face if you are charged with a drug supply related offence.
Types of Drug Supply Related Offences
Drug supply offences generally come under the following three categories.
- Supply of a prohibited drug
Section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) states:
A person who supplies, or who knowingly takes part in the supply of, a prohibited drug is guilty of an offence.
This offence takes into account the quantity of the drug being supplied and the age of the person who was being supplied with the prohibited drug.
- Supply of a prohibited drug on an ongoing basis
Section 25A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) states:
A person who, on 3 or more separate occasions during any period of 30 consecutive days, supplies a prohibited drug (other than cannabis) for financial or material reward is guilty of an offence.
- Social supply
Although there is no explicit legislation that refers to the social supply of drugs, the offence also comes under section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). Essentially, social supply of a prohibited drug involves supply of the drug without any consideration being paid for it.
Penalties for Drug Supply Related Offences
The penalty for drug supply related offences varies depending on the following three factors:
- Offence charged; and
- Type of drug supplied; and
- Quantity of drug supplied.
If you are charged with an offence under section 25 of the Act, then you may be liable for up to 5,500 penalty units and/or a life term of imprisonment. The Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) states that, in general, a penalty unit equates to $110. This means that you could be liable for fines up to the amount of $605,000.00 as well as a life term of imprisonment.
Schedule 1 of the Act outlines the different types of drugs and the quantity that supplies are categorized by. It breaks down the different quantities, which would be considered as a small, traffickable, indictable, commercial or large commercial quantity of the drug. The larger the quantity of the drug being supplied, the harsher the penalty imposed.
If you are charged with an offence under section 25A of the Act, then the maximum penalty is 3,500 penalty units, or 20 years imprisonment, or both. 3,500 penalty units equates to a $385,000 fine.
A court may impose alternative penalties to the fines and terms of imprisonment referred to in the Act. These include the following:
Home detention is another form of custodial sentence, which the court may impose. A home detention order stipulates that an offender may serve their term of imprisonment in their home. An offender will be strictly supervised and monitored throughout their term of home detention. This type of penalty can be imposed for up to 18 months.
Intensive corrections order
An intensive correction order will order the offender to comply with certain conditions imposed by the sentencing court. Conditions that may be imposed include counseling or rehabilitation.
Community service order
A community service orders may involve an order to complete work or attend a certain course. Work completed as part of probation is unpaid.
A suspended sentence is a term of imprisonment that is suspended when you enter a good behaviour bond. This type of penalty can only be handed down if you term of imprisonment is less than, or equal to 2 years.
Good behaviour bond
A good behaviour bond is another type of court order, which allows you to avoid a term of imprisonment if you behave well for the stipulated period. A good behaviour bond can last for up to 5 years. Quite often, there are conditions placed on a good behaviour bond such as supervision by the NSW Probation Service.
Section 10 dismissal
A section 10 dismissal allows the court to find you guilty of an offence but not record this conviction on your criminal record.
As you can see from the above, drug supply offences can lead to serious penalties. For this reason, it is important that you have competent legal representation to defend you during you trial and sentencing. Having one of the experienced George Sten & Co Sydney Drug Lawyers on your side, may mean the difference between a term of imprisonment and a suspended sentence, it is imperative that you contact us to give yourself the best chance of avoiding jail time. Contact George Sten & Co Sydney Drug Lawyers now on (02) 9261 8640. If your request is urgent, contact our 24 hour phone line: 0412 423 569.