Possession Of Dangerous Drugs
Have you been charged with the criminal law offence of common assault? It's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more about the common assault offence below.
s.9 Possessing Dangerous Drugs (Drugs Misuse Act Queensland)
(1) A person who unlawfully has possession of a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.
In Queensland, it is an offence to have possession of any dangerous drug. A person may be charged with this offence if they had knowledge of the existence of the drug and had the ability to exercise control over it. A person may still be charged with this offence even if the drug is not on their person, as they only need to have the ability to exercise control over the drug. ‘Possession’ includes having Dangerous Drugs on your person, in your home or vehicle, or on your property.
Dangerous drugs are broken into two categories; Schedule 1 Drugs and Schedule 2 Drugs:
- Schedule 1 Drugs include such substances as; ice, amphetamines, cocaine, lysergide, heroin, methylamphetamine and ecstasy.
- Schedule 2 Drugs include such substances as; cannabis, codeine, morphine, opium and many other different types of drugs.
If you are the occupier or you are concerned with the management or control of a home at the time a Dangerous Drug existed there, you may be charged with Possession of a Dangerous Drug. However, if you did not have knowledge of the drugs’ existence and they were found in a place which was not in your direct control, you may not be found guilty of the offence.
Maximum penalties for this charge
The maximum penalty for Possession of Dangerous Drugs depends on the category of drug you possess. The maximum penalty for a Schedule 1 Dangerous Drug is 25 years imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for Possession of a Schedule 2 Dangerous Drug is 20 years imprisonment. The severity of the penalty imposed on an offender depends on the category of drug, the quantity of the drug and the circumstances of the offence. If an offender can prove that they are a Drug-Dependent person, their penalty may be reduced. A person will be drug-dependent if as a result of repeated drug use, they demonstrate impaired control or drug-seeking behaviour that suggests impaired control over their continued use of the drug. They also suffer, or are likely to suffer, mental or physical distress or disorder, when the drug use ceases.
Possession of Dangerous Drugs offences are usually dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Supreme Court. The seriousness of the circumstances of the offence will determine in which court the matter should be heard.
In Queensland, if a person is convicted of Possession of Dangerous Drugs, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:
- Jail (suspended, parole or actual time);
- Intensive Corrections Order;
- Community Service Order;
The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.
A person’s sentence will be increased if they are in possession of dangerous drugs for a commercial purpose. For example, if a person is cultivating a large number of cannabis plants on their property for the purpose of selling the cannabis, they may be charged with Possession of a Dangerous Drug for a Commercial Purpose. This offence is of a more serious nature and is therefore heard in the Supreme Court.
Are there any defences available to this charge?
Yes. The facts of your case will determine which defences will be available for you. The following defences may be available to you:
- Mistake of Fact;
- Wasn’t in Possession;
- The Substance was not a drug.
What should I do if the police want to speak to me about a drug possession allegation or if I am charged with possession of a dangerous drug?
You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.
Call an Expert
If you are charged with an assault offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court.
Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.