Although we can assist with all criminal law matters, we particularly focus on drug charges (including drug possession, drug supply and drug trafficking). For crimes against others such as assault, read our our page here.
But in all cases, never forget the number one rule (as we mention on our general criminal law page): always call us first before speaking with the police, no matter whether you’re just “invited to answer some questions”, actively under investigation or have actually been charged.
Drug Crimes Generally
There are a lot of different kinds of drug crimes, with many possible outcomes.
The main differences between the different drug charges that criminal lawyers handle is usually:
- The type of drug;
- The purity/ quantity of the drug; and
- What the police say you’ve done with the drug.
There are a wide range of prohibited drugs that can be the subject of an alleged crime. That might include:
- Ecstasy or similar “party” drugs
- Steroids if used illegally
- Amphetamines like speed and methamphetamines like ice
Whatever the type of drug though, drug crimes are serious in Queensland with substantial maximum penalties.
Below are a few common charges that criminal lawyers like TWC deal with regularly.
This isn’t a surprise given the name, but drug possession is where you are found to have a prohibited substance in your possession (perhaps one of the ones in the list above).
Something can be in your “possession” even if you don’t own it, and even if it’s not actually in your knowledge.
But just because a prohibited substance was found by police and they’re pointing the finger at you, doesn’t make the outcome a foregone conclusion.
For example, it might be that:
- You have a prescription
- The drugs were found in a common area, and you weren’t the only one with access to it;
- Police didn’t conduct their search lawfully.
These can have a big effect on what happens, which is why it’s so important to speak with us before a police interview, and certainly before entering a plea of guilty or not-guilty.
Unlawfully supplying dangerous drugs to another person might lead to a charge of drug supply.
Unlike drug trafficking (below) the police don’t need to show that you were in the “business” of unlawful supply, but only that you actually made the supply regardless of any profit you made or not.
For that reason, drug supply can be an alternative charge if the police don’t think they can make a drug trafficking charge stick.
“Supplying” a drug is a broad term and can include giving, settling, moving/transporting, administering drugs or offering to do any of those things.
Like trafficking below, there are serious maximum penalties, including imprisonment, for a charge of supplying dangerous drugs. The possible maximum penalties are going to depend on the particular situation you are charged with though, so we suggest you get in touch if you want to know the worst-case scenario and what we can do to help you defend the charge completely or minimise the penalties.
Drug Trafficking (Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs)
Drug trafficking (also known as “trafficking in dangerous drugs”) carries significant possible penalties that are likely to include imprisonment.
For a drug trafficking charge, police are going to have to show that you were running a business, unlawfully, that involved the sale (although can include trading or dealing more generally) of a prohibited substance.
Importantly, you can be charged with trafficking even if you only sold drugs once.
The maximum penalty for drug trafficking can include up to 25 years imprisonment for the more “serious” trafficking of drugs, and up to 20 years imprisonment for the less “serious” offences.
There are several possible ways to defend a drug trafficking charge. For example, you might be able to show that the drug was not a dangerous drug. You might also argue that you were under the honest and mistaken belief that what you were dealing with was not a dangerous drug. Or, possibly, you might try to argue that your actions weren’t voluntary because you were under duress of some kind.
There are many more ways to approach dealing with a drug trafficking charge, which will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Given the seriousness, we highly suggest you retain criminal lawyers as soon as possible after you become aware of even the possibility of a charge.
Need a Drug Lawyer?
If you’ve been charged, are being interviewed by police (even if not yet charged) or are under investigation by police, then get in touch with us now to make sure you have solid advice before anything else happens.
To make a free appointment and get a quote, get in touch.
TWC Lawyers provide legal services for criminal law, traffic law, franchising law, commercial law, family law and property and conveyancing matters. We bring practical, sensible and fixed fee solutions to your legal problems. Learn more about us here.