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    Drug Lawyers Sydney

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      Drug Lawyers Sydney

      Our drug lawyers have years of experience representing those who have been charged with serious and complex drug offences. These charges carry significant fines and lengthy gaol sentences. Whether it be a drug possession charge or drug supply charge, NSW Courts take these offences very seriously.

      If you are found guilty, there is a strong chance of receiving a criminal conviction which can have ramifications for your employment prospects, as well as implications for what countries you are allowed to travel to.

      Our team has been rated amongst the best drug lawyers in Sydney and Parramatta. We are led by an accredited specialist criminal lawyer, placing us in the top 6% of lawyers in Australia. You can view our recent results for drug charges here.

      The following is a list of the various types of drug offences that you can be charged with:

      In recent years there has also been an increase in the methods and ways in which police and other law enforcement agencies detect and investigate drug possession and drug supply offences. This includes things like using drug detection dogs, undercover operations and surveillance devices. As a result, the detection and prosecution of prohibited drug offences has seen an increase in recent years.

      Common prohibited drugs and quantities

      Drug Type Small quantity Trafficable quantity Indictable quantity Commercial quantity Large Commercial quantity
      Amphetamine 1 gram 3 grams 5 grams 250 grams 500 grams
      Cannabis leaf 30 grams 300 grams 1kg 25kg 100kg
      Cannabis plant N/A 5 plants 50 plants 250 plants/50 plants (if cultivated by enhanced indoor means) 200 plants/1000 plants (if cultivated by enhanced indoor means)
      Cocaine 1 gram 3 grams 5 grams 250 grams 1 kg
      Ketamine 2.5 grams 7.5 grams 12.5 grams 1.25 kg 5 kg
      LSD 0.0008 gram 0.003 gram 0.005 gram 0.0005 kg 0.002 kg
      MDMA 0.25 gram 0.75 gram 1.25 gram 125 grams 500 grams
      Methylamphetamine 1 gram 3 grams 5 grams 250 grams 500 grams

      Types of drug charges in NSW

      In NSW the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 creates offences and penalties for offences relating to prohibited drugs. The penalties for drug charges  depend on the type of offence as well as the quantity of prohibited drugs . Below are some of the different types of offences and their penalties:

      • Drug possession – up to $2,200 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment
      • Drug supply – up to $5.5m fine and/or imprisonment for life
      • Manufacturing a prohibited drug – up to $5.5m fine and/or imprisonment for life
      • Cultivating a prohibited plant – up to $6.6m fine and/or imprisonment for 24 years.

      Types of drugs and their weight

      The quantity of a prohibited drug affects the applicable charges and penalties. Weight amounts for illicit drugs fall into five different categories

      • Small quantity
      • Traffickable quantity
      • Indictable quantity
      • Commercial quantity
      • Large commercial quantity.

      What should I do if I’ve been charged with a drug offence?

      Convictions for drug charges can be devastating. It can affect and limit your employment prospects and can even prevent you from travelling to some countries. Therefore, attending court for any drug offence, requires proper and experienced legal representation.

      The most common drug charge is “possession of a prohibited drug”. In most cases police will hand you a yellow slip called a ‘Field court attendance notice’. This sets out the date and location of the court you need to attend. They may also give you a ‘written notice of pleading’.

      However, drug supply offences can result in terms of imprisonment. This is particularly so for commercial quantity drug supply charges. If you find yourself in this position it is important to seek advice from a specialist criminal defence lawyer immediately.

      Astor Legal offer a free consultation where we can explain the penalties, procedure, and what we can do to ensure you get the best result at court.

      Prohibited drug case studies

      • No conviction and no bond for 10 MDMA capsules

        Our client was a 25 year old female who was charged with possession of a prohibited drug, namely 1.35 grams of MDMA. The client had just purchased the MDMA from a dial a dealer service and stepped out of the car, only to be greeted by police. Our client participated in two rehabilitative programs we recommended, and we assisted her in the preparation of thorough subjective material. Ultimately, the Magistrate not only acquiesced to our request to deal with the matter by way of non-conviction order, but recognised that specific deterrence had been met so heavily that the imposition of a bond or conditional release order would serve no purpose and unconditionally discharged our client.

      • Third non conviction for possession of a prohibited drug

        Our client had received the benefit of leniency of the court in the form of non-conviction orders twice for offences relating to alcohol and he had two other serious and significant offences on his criminal record.

        When he was stopped by police after purchasing 2g of cocaine from a dial-a-dealer service, it was almost certain that he’d be convicted for possessing this quantity of the drug.

        In preparing for the matter, we identified a discernible theme in our clients offending history. Almost all of the offences on our client’s criminal record involved alcohol. That is, that whenever the offences had been committed, alcohol had been involved.

        Once this was recognised and acknowledged, we were able to prepare our client and have him engage in relevant programs which sought to address his decision making after a drink. The matter was an uphill battle in the courtroom too, but after a lengthy conversation with the magistrate regarding the positive steps the client had taken, deterrence and the impact of a conviction, the magistrate acceded to our ultimate submission that this matter too could appropriately be dealt with by way of non-conviction order.

      • Drug Supply & Proceeds of Crime Charges Withdrawn

        Our client is a 20-year-old international rugby player. He was playing first grade in Australia and had recently received an offer to play professionally in France.

        On the day of the incident he was driving a friend to Darling Harbour in Sydney.

        While attempting to make a right turn, a pedestrian ran in front of his vehicle. He stopped and began having a verbal argument with the pedestrian.

        Unbeknownst to him, a police vehicle was behind him. The police vehicle’s sirens were activated for our client to move his vehicle and shortly thereafter pull over.

        Police approached our client and began questioning him. In the course of questioning, our client said that he was heading to Home Bar to pick up a mate, but had difficulty in providing a name for this mate. Police were aware that Home Bar was in fact closed due to COVID restrictions.

        Based on this, as well as Darling Harbour being a ‘known area for drug supply’, police conducted a search of the vehicle claiming they had a reasonable suspicion that drugs were in the vehicle.

        He was placed under arrest and cautioned as to his right to silence.

        As a result of their search, they located bags of cocaine and methylamphetamine, as well as a large amount of cash. The cash was found in the centre console, while the cocaine was found in the driver side door, under our client’s keys. It would have been in plain sight of the driver.

        The methylamphetamine was found in the passenger side door where our client’s friend was sitting. There was also cocaine found under the passenger seat.

        A short time later Police had our client use his fingerprint to open his phone so they could view his messages. The messages indicated significant drug supply activity.

        Our client and his friend were charged with drug supply and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime. The case was listed at Downing Centre Local Court.

        He came to us distraught that his career would be over if he were convicted of the offences.

        We immediately got to work preparing his defence. First, we obtained a statement from a friend of our client who confirmed that the cash was obtained legitimately as a result of gambling.

        We then subpoenaed the criminal history of the passenger. This revealed a lengthy criminal record for offences of dishonesty, violence and being dealt with by the drug court.

        We then obtained body worn footage of the police officers which had recorded most of the interaction.

        After reviewing this material, we wrote representations to police seeking the charges be dropped on the following basis’:

        • That the stopping of our client’s vehicle was unlawful as police did not have any reasonable suspicion that an offence had occurred at that time;
        • That the search of our client’s vehicle was unlawful as police did not have any reasonable suspicion that there were drugs in the vehicle;
        • That police obtaining access to our client’s mobile phone by having him use his fingerprint was a breach of his right to silence and a separate caution was required for this;
        • That Police could not prove exclusive possession of the drugs on the part of our client, as they could have belonged to the passenger – especially given his criminal record.

        Ultimately, after weeks of negotiations, police were persuaded to withdraw the proceeds of crime and drug supply charges against our client.

        As such, he is now able to continue his career. We were also able to ensure that his name was not mentioned in the media.

        Our client and his family were overjoyed with the result.

      • Not Guilty of Drug Supply, Possess Housebreaking Implements and Proceeds of Crime charges

        Last week Astor Legal appeared at Blacktown Local Court in relation to 14 charges of Drug Supply, Proceeds of Crime and Possess Housebreaking Implements.

        On the day of the incident, our client was seated in his vehicle in a carpark. He was approached by an old acquaintance who started a conversation.

        A short time later police drove past and made eye contact with our client’s acquaintance. Police claimed that the acquaintance appeared startled when he made eye contact with police and then began running away.

        Our client drove out of the carpark after this. Police followed our client for a short time before stopping him. They claimed the purpose of the stop was for a random breath test (RBT). Plainly, this was not the case. We argued that police had used the RBT as a guise to stop the vehicle due to their suspicions and that there was in fact nothing ‘random’ about the stop.

        Following the stop, our client was questioned about his behaviour, why he was in the area and whether he had ever been in trouble with the police before. After hearing that our client had previously been to jail for break and enter offences as well as drug charges, police said they had a reasonable suspicion to search the vehicle.

        As a result of the search, police found significant amounts of cocaine and methylamphetamine as well as housebreaking implements and a large sum of cash. They also located a set of scales and resealable plastic bags with the drugs.

        Given our client’s criminal history, he would have received a significant term of imprisonment if he had been found guilty of the offences. He had gone to a number of other firms previously who had all told him to prepare for jail.

        However, we took a different view. In our opinion police had acted unlawfully in stopping the vehicle, questioning our client and then searching the vehicle.

        Under cross-examination at Blacktown Local Court the officers admitted that they had not made any attempt to locate our client’s acquaintance, had not kept a record of the results of the RBT nor made any mention of conducting an RBT in their statements. They also admitted that the true reason for the stop was due to the behaviour of the acquaintance in running away.

        Ultimately the Magistrate agreed with our submissions and found that the stopping the vehicle, questioning our client and then searching the vehicle were all unlawful. As a result all evidence obtained as a result of the search was excluded and all charges were dismissed.

        Our client and his mother were overjoyed at the result.

      • No Conviction for Over 10 LSD Tabs

        Astor Legal recently appeared at Liverpool Local Court in relation to serious drug charges.

        Our client was a 19-year-old university student studying a Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Business.

        At the time he was working as an apprentice to earn some money and assist his family with their expenses. On the day of the incident he was sitting in his work ute with a colleague.

        Police stopped the vehicle and conducted a search. They found over to tans of LSD on him.

        He came to our firm distressed at the prospect of a drug conviction on his record. This would have affected his ability to be registered as a psychologist and his plans to travel overseas.

        We immediately went to work preparing the case.

        First we arranged for the client to attend the SMART Recovery Program. This is a drug education program that aims to develop strategies to assist people to eliminate drug use.

        Next we obtained references from his employer and parents setting out his remorse and the steps he had taken to ensure he did not reoffend. We also obtained evidence of his enrolment in university and the effect a conviction would have on him.

        At Court we made detailed submissions highlighting these factors. Despite the significant quantity of drugs, the Magistrate was persuaded to sentence our client to a conditional release order without conviction.

        Our client and his family were overjoyed with the result.

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