Legal Advice

7 Common Questions About Drug Offences

It can often be the case that a person has entered a drug rehab program or facility, but at the same time, they have the cloud of a possible drugs charge hanging over them. Whilst entering drug rehabilitation might show good intent for the future, it, unfortunately, cannot erase the past and negate the fact that they may have been arrested, and face being charged with a drug offence.

No doubt they will have many unanswered questions relating to drug charges, so, in an effort to provide some clarity, we have listed 7 common questions and provided what we believe are the most straightforward answers to them.

Question #1 – What Are The Possible Charges Relating To Drug Offenses?

There are several charges that can be brought against someone under most drug laws that exist. The list includes:

Conspiring With Another Person To Supply Or Sell Drugs
Manufacturing Drugs
Cultivating Drugs
Cultivation Drugs With The Intention Of Supplying Or Selling Them
Selling And Distributing Drugs
Drugs Trafficking
Possessing Drugs With The Intention To Supply Or Sell Them
Possessing Drugs

Question #2 – Which Are The Most Serious Drug Offenses?

Any of the drug charges which relate to an intention to provide someone else drugs by supplying them or selling the drugs to them will be deemed the most serious. If convicted these can result in a long prison sentence and extremely high fines, often running to tens of thousands of dollars.

Question #3 – I Have Been Charged With ‘Intent To Sell Or Supply Drugs’. What Does That Mean?

It pretty much means what it says, although where many get confused is with the word ‘supply’. Selling is easy to understand, as it means exchanging drugs for money. Supplying could mean you might supply or distribute the drug on behalf of someone else and where you do not receive any money directly.

Question #4 – Can I Claim I Did Not Know That What I Had In My Possession Was An Illegal Drug?

This is difficult and for more than one reason. First, ignorance of the law is no defence. Second, the prosecution does need to prove you knew you had an illegal drug in your possession. They need only prove that you intended to possess the drug, regardless of whether you knew it was illegal or not.

Question #5 – Can More Than One Person Be Charged With Possessing The Same Drugs?

If you are with someone and they have an illegal drug in their possession you could be jointly charged with possession of that drug. The prosecution will state that you knew of that possession and your intent was one of dual possession, even though only one individual physically had the drug in their possession.

Question #6 – What Factors Will Determine The Seriousness Of The Offence?

Whether in relation to intent to sell and supply drugs, or the possession of drugs, the severity of the charge and more importantly, how it might be viewed if the person is convicted in court, will be the types of drug they were caught with and the quantity or weight of those drugs.

Question #7 – Can I Be Charged Simply For Being Under The Influence Of Drugs?

It would be extremely unusual for the police to charge someone simply because they had drugs in their system. This obviously changes should that person be driving whilst under the influence of drugs or the drugs caused them to start acting in a disorderly manner in public.