Possess border controlled drug – s 307.5, 307.6 and 307.7 Commonwealth Criminal Code


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Being charged with possessing a border controlled drug can be an unnerving and unsettling experience.

But with the help of the specialist drug lawyers at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, you can give yourself the best possible defence against the charges and avoid an unfavourable outcome.

‘Possessing a border controlled drug’ is often used as an alternative charge to ‘drug importation’ where the prosecution is unable to prove that you imported the drugs, or where you collected the drugs some time after they were imported.

Your Options

Pleading Not Guilty

To be found guilty of possessing a border controlled drug, the prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That a border controlled drug or plant was illegally imported
  • That you possessed, or intended to possess the drug or plant
  • That you knew that the substance was a border controlled drug or plant, or you were reckless as to this possibility

It is not necessary to prove that you actually possessed the drug – it will be enough for the prosecution to show that you intended to possess the substance – for example, where you try but are unable to pick up the drugs, or where the substance you collect is a fake substance that has been planted there by the police.

If you are charged with ‘possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug’ or ‘possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug,’ the prosecution also needs to prove that you possessed a certain quantity of the drug:

Relevant Section

If you are charged with…

The prosecution must prove you had this quantity…

307.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug

  • 500g ecstasy/MDMA
  • 750g amphetamines
  • 1.5kg heroin
  • 2kg cocaine
  • 125kg cannabis

307.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug

  • 100g ecstasy/MDMA
  • 250g amphetamines, heroin or cocaine
  • 25kg cannabis

307.7 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a border controlled drug (where the quantity is unable to be proved, or where the amount is less than the marketable quantity)

The prosecution does not need to prove that you had a particular quantity – it will be enough that you possessed any quantity. You may be charged with this offence where the amount of drugs cannot be determined as they were never seized, or where the amount of drugs is less than the marketable quantity.

If you feel that the prosecution will be unable to prove any of the above elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should discuss the option of pleading ‘not guilty’ with a lawyer who has extensive experience defending clients in serious drug matters.

By pleading ‘not guilty,’ you will be able to go to court to defend the charges. For example, your lawyer may be able to argue that you did not intend, or believe that another person intended to sell the drug or its products, or that you did not know that the substance was unlawfully imported.

Alternatively, you may be able to raise a defence to justify or explain your actions, for example:

  • Where you were coerced or threatened into possessing the drugs (duress)

If you have been charged with possessing a border controlled drug, it is important that you speak to a specialist drug lawyer, who has the in-depth knowledge and experience to properly advise you of your options.

Pleading Guilty

If you do not want to fight the charges in court, you may consider pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings. By doing this, you will save yourself the time and expense of a trial or hearing to determine your guilt.

Pleading guilty at an early stage may also result in a more favourable outcome, as the magistrate or judge will take your early guilty plea into account, and may impose a more lenient penalty, or a discount on your sentence.

However, before pleading guilty, it is important to speak to an experienced specialist drug lawyer, who will be able to advise you on whether there is any way that you can fight the charges – for example, by raising a defence to explain or justify your actions.

If you are thinking about pleading guilty, it is also important to be aware of the maximum penalties that you may face.

The maximum penalties for possession of a border controlled drug depend largely on the offence that you have been charged with, which in turn depends on the type and amount of the drug involved:

Relevant Section

If you are charged with…

The prosecution must prove you had this quantity…

If you are found guilty, the maximum penalty is…

307.5 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug

  • 500g ecstasy/MDMA
  • 750g amphetamines
  • 1.5kg heroin
  • 2kg cocaine
  • 125kg cannabis

Life imprisonment and/or $825,000 fine.

307.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug

  • 100g ecstasy/MDMA
  • 250g amphetamines, heroin or cocaine
  • 25kg cannabis

25 years imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine.

307.7 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code

Possessing a border controlled drug

The prosecution does not need to prove that you had a particular quantity – it will be enough that you possessed any quantity. You may be charged with this offence where the amount of drugs cannot be determined as they were never seized, or where the amount of drugs is less than the marketable quantity.

2 years imprisonment and/or $4,400 fine.

However, these are maximum penalties, which means that they will only apply in the most serious cases.

The court will determine the appropriate penalty in your case after considering all the facts and circumstances.

The types of penalties that the court may impose include:

Your best chance at getting a favourable penalty in your possession case is to get an experienced drug lawyer on your side. A specialist drug lawyer will have the knowledge and skills to persuade the judge to give you the most lenient penalty possible.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

It can feel like your world has fallen apart when you have been charged with possessing a border controlled drug.

But the expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers can help you pick up the pieces and secure a positive outcome, allowing you to get on with your life.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we specialise in drug law, which means that we have the necessary knowledge and experience to ensure that you get the best possible outcome in your possession case.

In every case, our dedicated lawyers meticulously examine all the evidence to find weaknesses in the prosecution case. We also push hard to force the Australian Federal Police and Customs to produce all relevant evidence, including evidence that may bolster your case.

We have successfully defended clients in numerous possession cases by presenting evidence to the court to show that our clients did not intend to sell the drugs, or to show that they did not know that the drugs were unlawfully imported. In many cases, we have been able to have charges dropped before the matter goes to court by raising these issues at an early stage in the proceedings.

If you want to plead guilty to the charges, you can rest assured that our adept lawyers will fight hard to ensure that you get the most favourable penalty.

So don’t waste time talking to inexperienced lawyers – get the experts on your side today. Call us on (02) 9261 8881 to arrange your first FREE conference with one of our skilled defence lawyers.

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