‘Drug supply’ broadly refers to situations where you are involved in the sale or distribution of drugs; for example, storing drugs at your house for later distribution, sending drugs in the post or delivering them in person, or giving drugs to other people for free.
Life can be difficult for you and your loved ones when you are facing drug supply charges. But with Sydney’s best drug lawyers on your side, you can give yourself the best chance at a brighter future.
Your Options in Court
To be found guilty of drug supply, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:
- Sold or distributed illegal drugs, OR
- Agreed or offered to supply illegal drugs, OR
- Had illegal drugs in your possession that you intended to supply to other persons at a later date.
In cases where you feel that the prosecution will be unable to prove that you intended to supply the drugs to another person, you may wish to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges and let our drug law experts fight to protect your innocence in court.
As a firm that specialises in drug law, our lawyers have years of experience fighting all types of drug law matters.
Our unparalleled knowledge and insight of this complex area of the law enables us to consistently achieve superior results in drug supply matters.
Our experienced criminal lawyers will persuasively present your side of the story in a positive light and will highlight any problems with the prosecution case, such as where there is insufficient evidence to prove that you supplied the drugs to another person.
Often, we are able to have charges dropped at an early stage by raising these types of issues – sparing you the time and expense of a defended hearing.
Our lawyers have considerable experience fighting and winning drug supply matters and have the expert knowledge necessary to advise you of the various steps you can take when it comes to fighting the charges, for example, where:
- The drugs were for your own personal use only
- You gave the drugs to another person to hold on to temporarily
- The police performed an illegal search (where they did not have reasonable suspicion to search you)
- The drugs were found in a common area of the house, so you did not have ‘exclusive possession’ of the drugs
- There is insufficient evidence to show that you supplied the drugs
If you wish to accept the charges against you, you may wish to enter a plea of ‘guilty’ to the charges at the first opportunity.
Pleading guilty at an early stage in the proceedings may be beneficial in some cases, as it will show to the court that you accept responsibility for your actions. In most cases, this will mean that you will get a more lenient penalty.
Ultimately, the type of penalty that you will receive will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. However, the main determinant of your penalty will be the type and amount of the drug supplied:
|Where the amount is…||The maximum penalty will be…|
|Not more than a small quantity||<0.25g of MDMA/ecstasy<1g of amphetamines, cocaine or heroin<30g of cannabis||2 years imprisonment and/or a $5500 fine if your matter is finalised in the Local Court or 15 years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine if it is finalised in a higher court.|
|Not more than an indictable quantity||<1.25g of MDMA/ecstasy<5g of amphetamines, cocaine or heroin<1kg of cannabis||2 years imprisonment and/or an $11,000 fine if your matter is finalised in the Local Court or 15 years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine if your matter is finalised in a higher court.|
|Not more than a commercial quantity||<125g of MDMA/ecstasy<250g of amphetamines, cocaine or heroin<25kg of cannabis||15 years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine. Can only be heard in higher courts.|
|Not more than a large commercial quantity
More than the large commercial quantity
|<500g of MDMA<1kg of amphetamines, cocaine or heroin<100kg of cannabis
>500g of MDMA>1kg of amphetamines, cocaine or heroin>100kg of cannabis
|20 years imprisonment and/or a $220,000 fine. Can only be heard in higher courts.
Life imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine. Can only be heard in higher courts.
While these penalties may seem harsh, it is important to bear in mind that they are maximum penalties only, meaning that they will apply in only the most serious supply cases.
Our drug law experts can help you persuade the court to deal with the matter leniently – and in many cases, we can help you avoid going to gaol.
The court has the power to impose a wide range of penalties, including:
- Section 10
- Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Intensive correction order
- Home detention
- Suspended sentence
- Full-time imprisonment
Statistics show that the average penalty for supplying less than a commercial quantity of drugs was 27 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 14 months. For supply of a commercial quantity, the median penalty was 66 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 36 months.
Remember, your best chance at fighting (and beating) your supply charge is to get a specialist drug lawyer on your side.
The expert defence team at Sydney Criminal Lawyers has years of experience defending clients in all types of supply cases.
We have high success rates in getting charges dropped for our clients by writing letters to the prosecution highlighting problems with their case. This means that you can be spared the time, expense and stress of a jury trial or a defended hearing.
The maximum penalties for ‘drug supply’ depend on:
1. Drug type,
2. Drug quantity, and
3. Whether the case is dealt with in the Local or District court.