Know About Drug Possession Penalties And Charges In Australia

August 19, 2021    criminaldefencelawyersperthwa
Know About Drug Possession Penalties And Charges In Australia

Drug possession laws in Australia are complex. Some of the laws differ in individual territories, while some of the other laws are federal. The legislative document called Poisons Standard determines which drugs are prohibited. Therapeutic Goods Administration regularly monitors and updates this document. Public consultation is crucial in deciding which drugs should be restricted.

Drug possession can cause severe penalties and charges in Australia. You will then require the drug offense lawyer to handle your case. But for that, you will have to know which drugs are illegal to possess and what are the possible charges. We are here to tell you all that you need to know about drug possession penalties in Australia.

What Drugs Are Illegal To Possess?

There are a few drugs that are illegal to possess. Some of them are cannabis, LSD, cocaine and heroin. The Drug Misuse And Trafficking Act contains a list of drugs that are prohibited. There is a separate category of restricted drugs. Restricted drugs can only be possessed with a prescription. This category includes Xanax and steroids. Some drugs do not require a prescription but can only be bought from a pharmacy. The police need to prove the possession of illegal drugs by a person beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

Possible Defences

A person accused of possessing an illegal drug can put forward a few arguments. The drug offence lawyers can help you by defending your case. The arguments are as follows:

  • Honest Mistake

A person will not be charged guilty if they can prove that the possession was an honest mistake. They need to have enough reason to believe that the substance they were possessing was not illegal.

  • Carey Defence

This is applicable when a person is in possession of someone else’s drug for a temporary period.

  •  Duress

A person is exempted from charges for possessing an illegal drug when they were acting under duress. It means that they were threatened with severe consequences to their life or the life of someone else. If a person is found possessing a drug in response to a threat, they will be proved innocent.

  •   Not An Illicit Drug

The prosecution needs to prove that the alleged drug was illegal. This needs to be done through testing. If the prosecution fails to prove it, you will not be found guilty. However, there needs to be adequate proof that the drug was not tampered with while it was in police custody.

Possible Penalties For Illegal Drug Possession

The possible penalties for drug possession are listed below.

1. Fines

This is the most common penalty imposed by a court. Before specifying the fine amount, your financial condition is usually considered. The judge will check if you will be able to afford the fine amount.

2. Good Behavior Bonds

You might be asked by the court to exhibit good behavior for a particular period. The court will set some conditions that you will have to obey during your good behavior bond term. The maximum amount of time for a good behavior bond is five years. It means that the court will keep track of your good behavior for a maximum of 5 years.

3. Community Service Order

Community Service requires you to do unpaid work to benefit the community. The place where you will be required to provide service is decided by Probation and Parole. It might also require you to attend a specific course for a certain period. The most common course that people are required to follow is anger management. A probation officer needs to find you suitable to perform the community service order. The medical conditions of an individual might be responsible for making someone unfit for a community service order.

4. Suspended Sentence

A suspended sentence becomes applicable when you break the good behavior bond. As long as you maintain the good behaviour bond conditions, a suspended sentence will not be relevant. A suspended sentence is available for imprisonment up to a couple of years.

5. Periodic Detention

It is a form of imprisonment. You will be at a detention center twice every week. The court will specify for how long it will continue. The two day period starts at 7 pm and ends at 4:30 pm the second day following the day. The days of the week are specified by the court. But it usually begins on a Friday and ends on a Sunday.

6. Prison

You will be sentenced to prison only for a serious offence. Before a court sentences you to jail, it needs to be verified that no other form of punishment is adequate. You can hire the best criminal defence lawyer to ensure that you are not sentenced to prison.

Ending Note

You should know which drugs are prohibited in Australia. It will ensure that no charge is registered against you for illegal possession. But if you ever get involved in unlawful drug possession, you can hire criminal defence lawyers in Perth from the best law firms.

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