What are the odds that a man caught supplying 1000 ecstasy tablets and 79 grams of ice will soon be seeing the world from behind bars?
If you think they are fairly high, the results of his case may surprise you – in this case, the 27 year old man avoided jail, completed a rehabilitation course and has since embarked on the path to eventually start up his own landscaping business.
Across Sydney there are hundreds of drug trials per year, and the penalties for conviction, depending on the offence, range from fines and good behaviour bonds right up to life imprisonment in the most extreme cases.
The above case achieved its extraordinary result through efforts of Sydney Criminal Lawyers who convinced the court to grant a lengthy adjournment. During this time the client underwent rehabilitation and not only overcame his underlying drug addiction, but started to teach others at the rehabilitation centre.
While courts generally aim to develop consistency in sentencing, magistrates and judges still retain a large amount of discretion when deciding the penalties that those who are convicted will face.
The penalties vary, according to the severity of the offence and range from fines, good behaviour bonds, a community service order, suspended sentence, detention or even jail. A section 10 dismissal or conditional release order, if granted, will allow you to avoid a criminal conviction.
Legislation allows for the court to consider mitigating factors in deciding your case.
These include things like:
- whether you pleaded guilty
- are likely to reoffend
- are remorseful and take responsibility for your actions
- are of good character
- have no previous convictions and
- are unlikely to reoffend
All these things, if presented in court, may persuade the magistrate or judge to hand down a more lenient sentence.
Having an experienced criminal defence lawyer will dramatically increase your chances of securing a more favourable sentence.
Recent Sydney drug sentencing decisions made in relation to clients of Sydney Criminal Lawyers are evidence of this.
We have taken on and succeeded in cases where jail sentences were thought to be unavoidable.
In a number of recent cases, Sydney Criminal Lawyers have successfully fought for alternatives to prison in very serious drug cases.
One of these clients was told by two other law firms that his options were bleak.
After being initially charged with cultivating 14 large cannabis plants for commercial purpose and supplying ecstasy along with other offences, he was advised that he would certainly receive jail time.
They anticipated that his likely sentence was between 15 months and two years full time prison because of the serious nature of the charges and his previous conviction.
These lawyers advised him that the case would have to be heard in the District Court because the two main charges were ‘strictly indictable’ (and at least one of which could not be withdrawn) and therefore had to be heard in the higher court – where higher maximum penalties apply.
He was also told that he could not participate in the drug MERIT program because of the severity of the charges.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers managed to:
- get both of the strictly indictable charges downgraded so that they
stayed in the local court (where lower maximum penalties apply)
- convince the Magistrate to let him undertake the MERIT program which he successfully completed and
- obtained a section 9 good behaviour bond and small fines only.
If you plead guilty early on to a drug charge, you may be given a reduced sentence, and the case may be dealt with under section 10 dismissals or conditional release orders, meaning that no criminal conviction will be recorded against you.
This is particularly important when a criminal record may result in you losing your job or having an impact on your future job prospects.
A solid team of experienced lawyers will always fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Even cases which were thought to be unwinnable have been fought and won by the Sydney Criminal Lawyers defence team. And many of our clients have been kept out of prison after being told by others that there was no other alternative.
Click here to read many other recent drug cases successfully defended by our experienced drug defence lawyers.