It is an offence in NSW to be in possession of an illicit substance. An illicit substance includes drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA, ice and cannabis /marijuana.
Simply being in possession of a prohibited drug is an offence. It is common at music festivals for police to use sniffer dogs to detect people in possession of drugs. If found in possession a person can be charged and then required to attend court. A possession charge is generally considered a less serious charge then a supply charge.
Supplying prohibited drugs is an offence which carries a penalty of 10 years imprisonment. It is also an offence to knowingly taking part in the supply of prohibited drugs. To “supply” a drug includes not just selling the substance, but other things such as sending, forwarding or delivering the drug.
NSW also recognises an offence of “deemed supply.” If a person has in there possession a large amount of drugs, (which is an amount of a prohibited drug which is not less than the traffickable quantity) they are deemed to have the prohibited drug in their possession for supply.
Deemed supply does not require any evidence of intending to sell the drugs. The charge releases upon the fact that if there is a large quantity of drugs on a person, then it is assumed it would be too much for one person to consume themselves. It is then inferred they must have had the drugs for the purpose of supplying or selling them.
Where young people attending music festivals are handling large quantity of drugs, they run the risk of being charged with deemed supply if caught by the police. The amount required to be considered deemed supply is not as much as a person may think. The amount required to be a trafficable quantity depends on the drug in question. As an example, it can take just a few ecstasy tablets to be enough to be considered deemed supply.
However there are ways to defend deemed supply charges, including by showing that the person had the prohibited drug in their possession otherwise than for supply, such as for personal use.
The criminal law defence team at Hennikers has vast experienced with drug offences. We can explore all your options to get charges downgraded, or to fight the charges at a defended hearing.
If you have been found in possession of a prohibited drug and wish to plead guilty, the criminal defence lawyers at Hennikers can help you try and avoid a conviction. The experienced lawyers at Hennikers have a 99% success rate in obtaining their client’s a “section 10” in drug possession offences. This is a result that means no conviction is recorded and means a person avoids having a criminal record for the offence.