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Drug and Firearm Charges

Drug Offences

There are various criminal charges associated with drugs, including:

  • Possession;
  • Deemed Supply;
  • Supply;
  • Importation; and
  • Conspiracy to Manufacture;

Drug related offences range in penalties depending upon the type and quantity of the drug as well as whether the offence can be characterised as mere possession or involves supply, importation or manufacture. For serious offences each charge can carry penalties up to 20 years imprisonment and fines of $385,000 as well as having consequences for the forfeiture and seizure of assets.

When charged with a Drug related offence it is essential to have someone on your side who understands the law and can advise you on what the Police are required to prove. We can assist you to not only marshall the best defence to charges, but when needed, to put your case in mitigation before the Court to get you the best possible outcome in sentencing.

We have experience acting in all Drug related offences. Our legal knowledge, experience and expertise ensure that not only will we understand your situation, but we will be able to assist you with ensuring you receive the right result.

The Law

Section 10(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 states that “a person who has a prohibited drug in his or her possession is guilty of an offence”. The maximum penalty for the offence of drug possession is a fine of 20 penalty units and/or 2 years imprisonment.

You could be found guilty of committing this offence, if the police can prove the drug in your possession and that it is prohibited. Possession is something which can be difficult for police to prove, for istance where drugs are found in premises occupied by a number of people. To prove the drug is a prohibited drug the police must follow strict procedures for testing the drug which if not complied with can result in charges being dismissed.

In certain circumstances there are defences available to this offence such as where the drug is being taken for medical reasons or being used for the treatment of someone in your care.

Drug supply is a charge sometimes laid based solely upon the quantity of the drug found, such that it is a deemed supply. In other cases the police have to prove the act of supplying a drug to others.

The Customs Act sets out offences including importing drugs or their illegal ingredients as well as dealing with imported drugs after they have been brought into the country. Charges for such offences often involve charges of conspiracy. Conspiring is where two or more people make an agreement to commit a criminal act. The law governing these areas is complex. You will benefit from the experience we have gained in defending similar charges.

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    Firearms Offences

    Firearm offences can occur when someone fails to secure a firearm, when someone possesses a firearm without a licence or possesses an illegal firearm, or when someone attempts to discharge a firearm in an unlawful manner.

    If charged with a Firearm offence, it is important to have a lawyer who is familiar with the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) and the defences available both in relation to possession and storage of firearms.

    The Law

    It is an offence to possess, use, attempt or threaten to use an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence or to prevent or hinder the arrest of any person or any investigation. The maximum penalty is 12 years or if in company 15 years: s. 33B

    The Firearms Act 1996 defines a firearm as a gun or any other weapon used to fire a projectile, including a blank firearm, air pistol or BB gun.

    It is an offence under s33A of the Crimes Act to discharge a firearm to cause grievous bodily harm to a person, or to intend to do so. Anyone who is found guilty of such an offence could face a maximum prison term of up to 25 years.

    It is also an offence under s33A to attempt to discharge a firearm in order to either resist, or attempt to resist, an attempt of arrest by a police officer. This can either be attempting to resist arrest for yourself or for another person. Any person found guilty of such an offence can also be sent to prison for a maximum of 25 years.

    The use, possession or threat of use of an offensive weapon, which can include a firearm, can also be an offence. It is an offence to possess, use, attempt or threaten to use an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence or to prevent or hinder the arrest of any person or any investigation. The maximum penalty is 12 years or if in company 15 years.

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