Author: Dennis Miralis
Wollongong District Court
Client was stopped while driving, and found to have in excess of 20 grams of cocaine in a bag in his pocket. He also had a few thousand dollars in cash in his wallet. Police were suspicious that his phone rang a number of times, and suspicious of some text messages on his phone. Due to the weight of the drug, the client was prosecuted using the deeming provisions of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act whereby he was deemed to be in possession of the drug for the purpose of supply – unless he could establish otherwise.
Despite numerous attempts to persuade the Director of Public Prosecutions office to accept a plea of guilty to possess prohibited drug and drop the remaining charges, the matter proceeded to trial. The penalties for drug supply can be severe and normally a custodial sentence would be considered.
Not guilty of Supply Prohibited Drug. A plea was then entered to the Possess Prohibited Drug charge and the client was placed on a good behaviour bond. The proceeds of crime charge was withdrawn.
The client had a drug habit at the time of being charged – irrefutable medical evidence was presented to confirm this. The trial proceeded without a jury upon the consent of the Crown Prosecutor and subsequent order of the Judge.
Evidence was called to show the reason that our client was in possession of the cash and to explain the alleged ’suspicious’ nature of the text messages.