Understanding the Implications of a Drug Offence Charge
Drug offences are typically handled very seriously under Australian law. Regardless of the state you're in, a drug offence conviction often carries hefty financial repercussions and, in most cases, jail time.
If you're charged with a drug offence, it's important to seek adequate legal representation so that your interests are catered to. Criminal lawyers can help you navigate the complicated drug offence laws in your state and to mount a legal defense if necessary.
Offenses for drug possession
If you're found to be in possession of or using a controlled substance that is not cannabis, you may first receive a referral to an assessment panel. The assessment panel will determine the extent of use and the degree of possession. They may then make recommendations, including you being charged in the court system.
For cases where you're caught in possession or use of a small amount of cannabis, you may receive an explanation notice that informs you of the laws that govern cannabis use and possession. This will happen as long as you were not found using the substance in public spaces. Otherwise, you may be found guilty of possession and have a mark on your criminal record for drug offenses.
Criminal lawyers can assist you in establishing the specific circumstances pertaining to your case and how you can avoid a criminal record.
Offenses for drug trafficking
A drug trafficking offense basically means that you were caught in possession of controlled substances with intent to sell them. Establishing intent to sell can be a tricky process. If you're found selling the drugs, then the offense is self-explanatory.
However, if you're found in possession of significant amounts of the substance, you can also be deemed as having the intent to sell. In such cases, you will have to prove that your possession is without intent to sell. This of course sounds easier than it actually is, and criminal defense lawyers can step in to help you clear up the distinction between possession and intent to sell.
The criminal penalties for these two crimes vary significantly. Therefore, seeking attorney representation is important to avoid possible jail time.
Manufacturing controlled drugs
If you're charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, you're typically deemed as doing it with intent to sell. You would have to prove that the purpose of the manufacturing was for self-consumption, but this still constitutes a criminal offense. Criminal defense attorneys can help you clarify your situation and mount a defense if necessary.