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So if you’re charged with drug possession and or drug supply there are ways for you to avoid conviction by either getting the case dropped that is withdrawn or if you’re going to plead guilty of getting what’s called a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order.
The first way to avoid a conviction is to try to have the case dropped.
Now if you’re charged with drug possession it may well be the case that you were searched by police, your body was searched by police, or your bag was searched by police first.
Now police cant search you for any reason.
They have to have a suspicion on reasonable grounds that you have drugs on you at that particular time.
Now often police will say it’s a known drug area, there’s people supplying drugs in that area, and so on and so forth and you look nervous.
That’s not enough to ground a reasonable suspicion.
They have to have some real reason to believe that you had drugs on you at that particular time.
For example, if the drug sniffing dog sat next to you, or if they say that they saw you exchanging money and a bag or something like that.
They have to have some real reason.
Now if one of my seniors lawyers reads through your police papers and believes that the search was illegal we can write to the police and point that out, and we can ask for the case to be withdrawn, we can advise them that if it’s not withdrawn then once we win the case will ask for your legal costs, we’ll ask police to pay the legal costs.
So illegal search is one way to get a case dropped.
Another way to get a case dropped is if drugs were found in a common area in your house in a lounge room or somewhere that other people attended or other people could access.
We can ask for the case to be dropped on the basis that they cannot prove what’s called exclusive possession.
It’s another way to get the case dropped.
Now sometimes police will charge someone with supply and with possession.
Now there may be no issue that the person was in possession at that time, that the search was legal but we can also ask them to drop a supply charge on the basis that you plead guilty to the possession charge and really you should never plead guilty to a drug supply charge until you receive legal advice because it may well be the case that your criminal lawyer can get that drug supply charge dropped, and once that drug supply charge is dropped and you plead guilty to the possession charge you may be in a good position to avoid a criminal conviction.
Now if you are going to plead guilty to drug possession or even drug supply there are some steps you can take to avoid a criminal conviction.
The first is to consider doing what’s called the MERIT program.
The magistrates early referral into treatment program.
Now MERIT’s a program which unfortunately does run over twelve weeks but, if you do the MERIT program and get counselling, and do what they asked for you attending meetings, and so on and so forth, or whatever they ask of you undertake urinalysis and so on, and you finish it up to the 12 weeks, there’s a good chance that the magistrate will deal with you very leniently perhaps even with a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order.
So doing the MERIT program is something that you can consider.
Now if it’s a small possession charge, so if you’ve got a few ecstasy tablets, or something like that then you may want to just plead guilty on the first available date, and to have the matter sentenced on that date.
Now in the lead up to that first court date though there are a couple of things that you can do to increase your chances of getting off or getting a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order; that is not getting a criminal conviction.
First is obtaining up to three character references.
So character references are letters from people who you know, your boss, your colleague, someone who’s known you for a long period of time that talked about you, your general character, and they must however say in there that they’re aware that you pleaded guilty to drug possession or supply if that may be the case.
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