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      Bail granted for Commercial Drug Supply, then charges withdrawn

      Our client is a 29-year old Uber driver from Sutherland.
      Police conducted a lawful search of a vehicle parked at the front of our client’s house.
      In the vehicle, they found over a kilogram of cocaine secreted under the driver’s seat.
      Our client was subsequently charged with Supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.
      The supply was ‘deemed’ under section 29 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.
      Our client was bail refused by Police and was taken to Parramatta Local Court the next morning where we made a bail application for him.
      Speaking to him before the bail application, our client told us that he had no idea the drugs were there.
      We were able to have bail granted on strict conditions by arguing that our client could invoke the Filipeti defence. This is where Police are unable to prove that you had ‘exclusive possession’ of the drug.
      Essentially, it could be argued that someone else had left the drugs in the vehicle. This was particularly relevant given our client’s work as an Uber driver.
      Orders were made for Police to serve the brief of evidence on us.
      The brief of evidence was served and it contained a DNA certificate which suggested that our client’s DNA was on the parcel.
      At this stage, most lawyers would have advised the client to plead guilty.
      Luckily for him, we are not like most lawyers.
      We immediately subpoenaed the DNA lab results and procedures. We then arranged for our specialist DNA experts to examine the results.
      Our expert concluded that there were multiple other DNA profiles on the packaging and that ‘secondary DNA transfer’ could not be excluded.
      We drafted detailed written representations for the charge to be withdrawn on the basis that the prosecution could not overcome the Filipeti defence.
      We also attached our DNA expert’s report and advised the Crown that if charges were not withdrawn, we would seek costs.
      Ultimately, the prosecution accepted our representations and withdrew the charge against our client. This saved our client tens of thousands of dollars as well as the stress that comes with facing a trial.
      While this is a rare case, it does show that having an accredited specialist criminal lawyer in your corner can make a massive difference.

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