(1) A person who unlawfully has possession of a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.
In Queensland, it is an offence to have possession of any dangerous drug. A person may be charged with this offence if they had knowledge of the existence of the drug and had the ability to exercise control over it. A person may still be charged with this offence even if the drug is not on their person, as they only need to have the ability to exercise control over the drug. ‘Possession’ includes having Dangerous Drugs on your person, in your home or vehicle, or on your property.
Dangerous drugs are broken into two categories; Schedule 1 Drugs and Schedule 2 Drugs:
If you are the occupier or you are concerned with the management or control of a home at the time a dangerous drug existed there, you may be charged with Possession of a Dangerous Drug. However, if you did not have knowledge of the drugs’ existence and they were found in a place which was not in your direct control, you may not be found guilty of the offence.
The maximum penalty for Possession of Dangerous Drugs depends on the category of drug you possess.
The maximum penalty for a Schedule 1 Dangerous Drug is 25 years imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for Possession of a Schedule 2 Dangerous Drug is 20 years imprisonment.
The severity of the penalty or sentence imposed on an offender depends on the category of drug, the quantity of the drug and the circumstances of the offence. If an offender can prove that they are a drug-dependent person, their penalty may be reduced. A person will be drug-dependent if as a result of repeated drug use, they demonstrate impaired control or drug-seeking behaviour that suggests impaired control over their continued use of the drug. They also suffer, or are likely to suffer, mental or physical distress or disorder, when the drug use ceases.
Possession of Dangerous Drugs offences are usually dealt with in the Magistrates Court or the Supreme Court. The seriousness of the circumstances of the offence will determine in which court the matter should be heard.
In Queensland, if a person is convicted of Possession of Dangerous Drugs, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:
The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the drug possession offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.
A person’s sentence will be increased if they are in possession of dangerous drugs for a commercial purpose. For example, if a person is cultivating a large number of cannabis plants on their property for the purpose of selling the cannabis, they may be charged with Possession of a Dangerous Drug for a Commercial Purpose. This offence is of a more serious nature and is therefore heard in the Supreme Court.
Yes. The facts of your drug possession case will determine which defences will be available for you. The following defences may be available to you:
You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.
If you are charged with an assault offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team of drug offence lawyers at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. If you are charged with drug possession, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice.
Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.
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