Section 11 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 | Possession of Drug Equipment


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Many would know that possession of drugs is a criminal offence, however did you know that you could also face drug charges where you are found to have drug equipment in your possession?

Possession of drug equipment is an offence under section 11 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.

‘Drug equipment’ refers to any equipment which can be used to administer a prohibited drug, except for a hypodermic needle or syringe.

Examples of drug equipment include ice pipes and water pipes, commonly known as bongs.

There is an exemption under the law for medical practitioners, dentists, veterinary practitioners, registered nurses and registered midwives who possess equipment for the administration of drugs in the ordinary course of their profession.

These matters are dealt with before a magistrate in the Local Court.

The maximum penalty for possession of drug equipment is a fine of $2,200 and/or 2 years imprisonment.

However, with the help of our experienced drug lawyers, you may be able to avoid a conviction altogether.

As Sydney’s leading drug law experts, our legal team can advise you of your options when it comes to fighting the charges and securing the best possible outcome in your case.

The Legislation

11 Possession of equipment for administration of prohibited drugs

(1) A person who has in his or her possession any item of equipment for use in the administration of a prohibited drug is guilty of an offence.

(1A) Subsection (1) does not apply to or in respect of a hypodermic syringe or a hypodermic needle.

(1B) Subsection (1) does not apply to or in respect of a person prescribed by the regulations, or a person who is of a class of persons prescribed by the regulations, who has in his or her possession any item of equipment that is required to minimise health risks associated with the intravenous administration of a prohibited drug.

(2) Nothing in this section renders unlawful the possession of an item of equipment by:

(a) a medical practitioner, dentist, veterinary practitioner, pharmacist, registered nurse or registered midwife acting in the ordinary course of his or her profession,

(b) a member of any other prescribed profession acting in the ordinary course of that profession,

(c) a person licensed or authorised to have possession of the item of equipment under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 ,

(d) a person authorised to have possession of the item of equipment by the Secretary of the Department of Health, or

(e) a person for use in the administration of a prohibited drug lawfully prescribed or supplied.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

When you’ve been charged with a drug offence, it pays to have the experts on your side.

As Sydney’s only drug law specialists, our legal team has the knowledge and experience to ensure that you obtain the best possible result in your drug equipment matter.

We will stand by your side every step of the way – from explaining the charges to you, to writing to the police and representing you in court if need be.

We take the time to carefully examine all the evidence in every case before writing to the prosecution highlighting any weaknesses and pushing for the charges to be dropped.

Often, this means that our clients are spared the time and expense of fighting the charges at a Local Court defended hearing.

Alternatively, should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our lawyers will fight hard to raise any possible defences to the charges, such as where the prosecution are unable to prove that you had ‘exclusive possession’ of the drug equipment.

We can also help you avoid a criminal record where you wish to plead guilty by persuading the magistrate to deal with your matter by way of a ‘section 10.’

This is where you are found guilty of the offence but no conviction is recorded on your criminal history and no other penalties are imposed.

Our team has a proven track record of consistently obtaining section 10s in drug matters.

We also offer competitive fixed fees for drug matters – so call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with one of our drug law specialists.