The majority of drug related offences are dealt with under the Drugs Misuse Act and associated regulations. Drug Offences can range in seriousness, from minor offences to lengthy and substantial periods of imprisonment for more serious offences.
The more common types of drug offences that appear before the Court include:
- Possession of dangerous drugs and other items;
- Supplying dangerous drugs;
- Producing dangerous drugs; and
- Trafficking dangerous drugs.
Unlike the majority of offences in Queensland, where there is a presumption that a person is presumed innocent of any offence until proven guilty, the Drugs Misuse Act contains provisions for a number of offences where this onus is reversed. For example, in circumstances where police execute a search warrant and locate an illicit drug in the premises, the occupier of the premises is presumed to be in possession of that illicit substance, unless they can demonstrate that they did not know, or ought not to have known, about the presence of the drug.
In addition, the Drugs Misuse Regulations classifies dangerous drugs into different schedules. Schedule 1 drugs, such as amphetamines, cocaine, and heroine, are regarded as more serious than other scheduled drugs, and the Courts will often impose higher penalties for individuals convicted of offences relating to Schedule 1 drugs. Recorded convictions, or even a charge for any drug related matter, can have serious repercussions for individuals, and it is important that experienced legal representation is obtained so that you receive fully informed advice as to how the unique operation of law applies in your particular case.
Trafficking in dangerous drugs refers to the sale of dangerous drugs for a commercial purpose.
Supplying dangerous drugs is a broad term. There are many circumstances where an individual can be charged with supply. Some of these include giving a dangerous drug to someone else (even if they didn’t receive anything in return) and offering to supply a dangerous drug to another person.
An individual can be deemed to be in possession of dangerous drugs in a number of different ways. An individual can be found in actual possession of the illicit substance, such as the substance being found on their person, as well as deemed to be in possession of the illicit substance, based on the laws relating to occupier’s liability.