Sydney drug lawyers are typically experienced and well informed about drug offences as it is an area of law that requires ongoing attention to the changes in substances and laws that come with the territory. Drug offences in NSW are treated by the courts with a high degree of seriousness.
In Australia all major recreational drugs with the exception of alcohol and nicotine are illegal. There are legal highs that will sit outside of the law, though once they become used widely and are in the public conscience they tend to come into the net of the law.
This criminalisation of drugs in the NSW state means there is a need for specialist drug offence lawyers. According to the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation there is an annual illegal drug market estimated to be worth A$6.7 billion. More than 10 per cent of the working-age population regularly use cannabis, with 1.9 million people aged 15 – 65 using illegal drugs per year. Facts that confirm that drug offences are not limited only to people that might fit a criminal profile.
Astonishingly, Australia topped the global list for recreational drug use in the United Nation’s 2014 World Drug Report.
In the words of Andrew Carswell of the Daily Telegraph….“The nation has the inglorious distinction of having the highest proportion of recreational drug users in the world — an embarrassing new low, albeit from getting high.”
Sydney drug lawyers will also find they are called to deal with larger scale offences such as drug trafficking and Importation. Furthermore there are a swathe of offences relating to producing drugs.
Drug law is complex. If you are accused of a drug offence then we recommend taking specialist legal advice. CALL 1300 123 065
Sydney Drug Lawyers
If you need advice from a lawyer for drug possession charges because you or a family member has been charged, we recommend you get in touch.
As described there is a wide spread use of recreational drugs in Australia. Even possession of most banned substances is an offence and one dependent on the purpose of the defendant’s involvement with the substance and the type of that substance.
- Depressants slow down activity of the central nervous system reducing alertness. It also slows down breathing and heart rate. Examples of depressants include alcohol, heroin, cannabis, benzodiazepines along with an array of other prescription tranquilisers.
- Stimulants increase activity in the central nervous system. A person will become more alert and aroused. Stimulants include nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, ecstasy and the methamphetamines, speed and ice.
- Hallucinogens make a person see, hear, smell or feel things that aren’t there. LSD, magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis are all examples of hallucinogens.
When deciding the seriousness of a charge it is important to consider the nature of the involvement. In other words possession is less serious, but possession with intent to supply is more serious.
Offences involving the importation, exportation, or production of any type of illegal substance is extremely serious, and for these situations one might be considering a custodial sentence of over ten years.
Possession and Possession with Intent to Supply
If a person is charged with straight possession of a substance then a prison sentence is very unlikely even if their trial leads to a conviction. If the person is charged with possession with intent to supply, then a prison sentence is very likely if they are found guilty.
In a nutshell possession with intent to supply basically means drug dealing. Drug dealing can be a few small bags of cannabis, or a yacht lined with suitcases of cocaine. The length of any given sentence will depend on the quantity and strength of drugs, whether there is a bigger operation behind the dealing etc.
Possession with intent to supply drugs such as heroin and cocaine carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. So a very serious offence. However sentences rarely go over ten years in reality except for the most serious of cases.
Sydney drug lawyers may be able to reduce sentences if:
- the drug dealing done is to fund a drug habit
- if there has been pressure from other dealers in the chain
- If there is cooperation with the police
- if there is an early guilty plea
- depending on the age of the offender
- if there is personal use
Going against a defence, prosecution drug lawyers may try to seek to put forward evidence which they say shows that the use is not only personal.
This might include:
- A large quantity of illegal drugs
- Large amounts of unexplained cash
- Notebooks or diaries with lists of names against dollar amounts
- Packaging for large amounts to smaller amounts, wraps or snap bags etc
- Scales or other paraphernalia used in the preparation or sale of drugs
Major Drug Importation, Exportation and Production
Whenever large quantities of drugs are involved the penalties are likely to be severe. Career drug dealers can make millions of dollars – the stakes are high as production of drugs and exportation and importation of drugs, are vital to the whole illegal drug trade. It is the supply from the top of the chain that feeds the small time dealers that then supply the streets. Judges will treat this element of the chain with the utmost severity.
Mobile phone evidence is particularly important especially in connecting the various players. ‘Cell-site analysis’ can also be used to show where defendants might be located at any given time, although this evidence can potentially be challenged.
Likewise Sat Nav units in cars can be used. Of course the usual techniques of fingerprints, DNA, and forensic analysis of clothes and body, are also employed by Sydney drug lawyers.
In summary, the area of drug law is complex with many variations. Change is happening both on the criminal side as well as on the law enforcement side and as such a quality Sydney drug lawyer will constantly keep up to date with the latest changes in law and criminal practice in order to provide an exceptional service to their clients.
For the best Sydney drug lawyers simply CALL 1300 123 065