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Possessing Controlled Drugs

Possessing Controlled Drugs is an offence under Section 308.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You knowingly possessed a substance
  2. The substance was a controlled drug, and
  3. You knew, or were reckless as to whether, the substance was a controlled drug

You were ‘reckless’ if you were aware it was likely the substance was a controlled drug but went ahead with your actions regardless.

‘Controlled drugs’ include:

  • MDMA (or ecstasy) and amphetamines
  • Cocaine, heroin and LSD
  • Cannabis and cannabis resin

A defence to the charge is ‘duress’, which is where:

  1. Your actions were due to a threat of death or serious injury to you and/or a family member
  2. There was no reasonable way for you to render the threat ineffective, and
  3. Your conduct was a reasonable response to the threat

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