Request callback

    Drug Supply

    Get A Free Case EvaluationHave a legal issue?

    Submit your inquiry to speak to a Senior Lawyer

      Best Drug Supply Lawyers

      Our lawyers for drug supply charges understand that drug offences can have a devastating impact on your life and the lives of those close to you. There are often wide-reaching repercussions including an inability to travel overseas and unemployability in certain fields. For more serious offences, jail time is a real possibility.

      Our expert drug supply lawyers have an unparalleled record of securing ‘not guilty’ verdicts for our clients’ as well as helping them avoid a jail sentence and in some cases, even avoid a criminal conviction for drug supply charges.

      You can view our recent results for drug supply charges here.

      Contact us now to speak to our Law Society accredited specialist drug lawyer.



        What is Drug Supply?

        Section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) sets out that if you knowingly took part in the process of supplying, or agreeing to supply a prohibited drug, you can be guilty of an offence.


        How do you beat a Drug Supply charge?

        You can fight a supply prohibited drug charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

        1. You engaged in the supply of a substance, OR
        2. Knowingly took part in the supply of a substance; AND
        3. That substance was a prohibited drug, OR
        4. You believed, or led the recipient to believe that it was a prohibited drug

        If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

        Secondly, you can rely on one of the defences.


        What is the definition of ‘Drug Supply’?

        Under Section 3 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), the definition of ‘supply’ is broad. There is no requirement for you to receive a monetary benefit or any other benefit from supplying the drug.

        The meaning of ‘supply’ includes selling, distributing, agreeing to supply, offering to supply, keeping it in your possession for supply, sending, delivering, receiving the drug for supply, or allowing any of those acts.

        Providing a friend (or friends) with drugs is still a supply. A common example is holding drugs at an event such as a music festival with the intention of providing it to your friends later. This also falls into the definition of ‘supply’.


        What are the Defences to Drug Supply?

        The following defences are available to a charge of supply prohibited drug:

        1. You weren’t aware that you possessed the drug
        2. Carey defence: You were holding the drug on behalf of another person and intended to give it back to that person (Carey (1990) 50 A Crim R 163)
        3. The substance was not a prohibited drug, AND you did not believe, nor did you hold it out as a prohibited drug
        4. The prohibited drug was for your personal use only
        5. Illegal search: If Police found the drug due to an unlawful search. This may be due to Police not having reasonable grounds to search you, or any warrant(s) they have used being improper or defective
        6. You were not involved in any steps of the supply
        7. No supply has taken place and you had no intention to supply
        8. Duress: You were forced to commit the drug supply

        We have a dedicated team of senior drug supply lawyers who can analyse your case and find any possible defences you may have.

        Contact us now to speak to an experienced defence lawyer.


        What is ‘Deemed Supply’?

        Section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) explains that ‘deemed Supply’ is a law allowing Police to charge a person with Supply prohibited drug if the weight of the drug is greater than the ‘traffickable quantity’.

        Police do not need to prove that you actually supplied the drug or intended to supply the drug.


        Defences to ‘Deemed Supply’

        You can defend a ‘Deemed supply’ offence by proving on the balance of probabilities, that you did not have the drugs with you for the purpose of supply. If the Police cannot provide any evidence that you intended to supply the drug, then you will likely be able to defend the charge. Some examples of evidence of drug supply:

        • multiple mobile phones;
        • text messages consistent with drug supply;
        • scales;
        • drug paraphernalia;
        • large sums of cash.

        If after receiving detailed advice from a specialist drug supply lawyer, you decide that the best course is for you to plead guilty, we can begin preparing your case for sentencing.

        You can refer to our guide for pleading guilty to drug offences for some general advice, however, you should consult a specialist drug lawyer for advice specific to your case.

        Contact us now to speak to our Law Society accredited specialist drug supply lawyer.


        What is the penalty for drug supply?

        The maximum penalties for drug supply offences are based on the weight of the drug. The table below sets these out:

        Quantity Cocaine Methylamphetamine Ecstasy Heroin Maximum Penalty
        Small 1gram 1 gram 0.25 grams 1 gram 15 years jail and/or a fine of $220,000

        But, if heard in the Local Court: 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500

        Traffickable 3g 3 grams 0.75grams 3 grams 15 years jail and/or a fine of $220,000

        But, if heard in the Local Court: 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500

        Indictable 5 grams 5 grams 1.25 grams 5 grams 15 years jail and/or a fine of $220,000
        Commercial 250 grams 250 grams 125 gms 250 grams 20 years jail and/or a fine of $385,000
        Large Commercial 1 kg 1 kg 500 grams 1 kg Life jail and/or a fine of $550,000

        There is also a ‘standard non-parole period’ (ie. The amount of time you must spend in jail) for certain offences. The ‘standard non-parole period’ if you are found guilty of supplying:

        • a commercial quantity is 10 years jail;
        • a large commercial quantity is 15 years jail.

        The penalties for drug supply are onerous and can often result in gaol sentences. That is why it is important to obtain advice from a criminal drug lawyer.

        Contact us now to obtain immediate advice on your case.


        What are the Possible Sentences for drug supply?

        Below is a list of possible sentences for supply prohibited drug:

        1. Section 10(1)(a) non conviction
        2. Conditional Release Order (without conviction)
        3. Fine
        4. Conditional Release Order (with conviction)
        5. Community Correction Order
        6. Intensive Corrections Order
        7. Full Time Imprisonment


        Will you go to jail for Drug Supply?

        Below is a table of judicial commission statistics from the last ten years for drug supply offences dealt with in the District Court:

        % Amphetamine Cannabis Cocaine Heroin MDMA/Ecstasy
        Section 10 0.1% 0.6% 0.7% 1.1% 6.4%
        Fine 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.2%
        Good behaviour bond 5.7% 3.9% 8.2% 8.2% 21%
        Community Service 1.5% 0.6% 1.5% 0.5% 4%
        Suspended Sentence 27.3% 28.4% 32.4% 22.9% 37.3%
        Intensive Correction Order 8.2% 12.9% 24.2% 7.4% 11.1%
        Home Detention 0.3% 0.6% 0.5% 0% 0.5%
        Prison 55.7% 51% 30.9% 59.7% 16.8%

        The statistics bear out the very real likelihood of a term of full-time imprisonment will be imposed. Our drug lawyers have years of experience persuading the Courts to impose non-custodial sentences on our clients’.

        Contact us now to speak to Australia’s best criminal lawyers for drug supply charges.


        Drug Supply guideline judgement

        Previously, the concept of ‘trafficking to a substantial degree’ what a major issue for those found guilty of drug supply.

        If you were found to have engaged in drug trafficking to a substantial degree, the Court was required to sentence you to a term of full-time imprisonment unless there were ‘exceptional circumstances’.

        Fortunately, Parente v R [2017] NSWCCA 284 overturned this and set out a guideline for sentencing in drug supply offences:

        1. The sentence must sufficiently deter re-offending
        2. The social impact of drug use, especially as a cause of other criminal offending must be taken into account and community protection is usually a significant factor.
        3. The maximum penalty must be referenced
        4. If there is drug trafficking ‘to a substantial degree’, a sentence of imprisonment will usually be appropriate
        5. Imprisonment must not be imposed unless all possible alternatives have been considered and no other penalty is appropriate. Full-time imprisonment is a last resort

        Intensive Corrections Orders must be given full, fair and genuine consideration. A defence lawyer who fails to consider and raise alternatives to full-time jail can lead to injustice.

      What amount of drugs is considered ‘personal use’?

      It is difficult to say with certainty as to what amount of a drug can be considered personal use. The Court will consider the surrounding circumstances including whether any items consistent with drug supply were found on you or at your residence.

      The Court will also assess what your level of drug use was. For example, a regular (eg. daily user) of a drug would be able to have a higher amount with them for ‘personal use’ than a casual or recreational drug user.

      In order to get an accurate assessment of whether the amount of drugs Police have caught you with can be considered ‘personal use’, you should consult one of our specialist drug supply solicitors.

      Related Articles

      Ask a question now!