With Australia’s music festival season in full swing, drugs and illegal substances are coming into focus once again. Whether you partake in illegal substances only once to let off steam or you’re involved regularly with them; the penalties for possession, supply and use of drugs are steep. Here’s a brief overview of the drug offences under NSW law.
Types of illegal drugs
Drug charges in NSW may relate to one of the following illegal substances:
- Prescription-only drugs which you do not hold a prescription for (e.g. Valium)
The police may search you without arrest if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are in possession of drugs. They may also perform a roadside drug test at any time.
If you are being questioned by police or charged with a drug offence, it is best to avoid admitting any details before speaking with a qualified drug lawyer.
Types of offences
There are four common drug offences in NSW; use, possession, cultivation and supply/trafficking. Use is the ingestion of illegal drugs whether through smoking, injecting or swallowing pills. Possession is having drugs found on your person, in your home, car or any property that is owned by yourself. You may be charged with possession even if you take custody of the substance for only a moment (e.g. holding a joint that is being passed around). Cultivation is the making of drugs; either through growing or chemical processing. Supply/trafficking is one of the more complex drug charges which we’ll outline below.
Supply charges relate to the sale or giving away of illegal drugs. Some examples may include:
- Preparing drugs for sale
- Arranging to meet a buyer
- Introducing a person to a dealer
- Cultivating drugs with the intention to sell
- Permitting a drug sale to take place
Agreeing to supply a person with illegal drugs is an offence, whether or not the sale has actually occurred.
If you are found in possession of a large amount of drugs – more than is reasonable for personal use – it is assumed you have the intent to sell, and you may be charged with trafficking. This is known as deemed supply.
If you have been found guilty of supply charges for a commercial purpose more than three times in a 30-day period, this is known as ongoing supply. It is not required to be the same drug for each sale.
Make sense of drug law with professional help
Drug laws are complex. Drug charges are versatile. If you or someone you know is accused of a drug offence, call Powerhouse Law on 1800 100 529 or use our online form to make an appointment.