Our client was on his way to a dance party inside a factory complex in Alexandria in Sydney. Unbeknownst to him, plain clothes police were conducting operations in the immediate vicinity of the party. Our client stepped out of a taxi and was on his way to withdraw money from an ATM when he was stopped by police. Our client immediately admitted that he was in possession of 5 ecstasy tablets (weighing 1 gram in total) and 0.2 grams of cocaine. Our client was arrested and charged with two counts of Possess Prohibited Drug under s 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act. When questioned, our client admitted that the drugs in his possession were purchased for personal use. Our client entered a plea of guilty at the first available opportunity and the matter proceeded before the Downing Centre Local Court for sentence.
The legislation provides a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,200 – including available sentencing options in between, such as a good behaviour bond, Community Service Order, Intensive Corrections Order, and Suspended Sentence. A conviction for drug offences can have disastrous consequences; often the accused person is unaware of how a conviction may impact future employment or overseas travel.
We made submissions to the court as to why no conviction should be recorded having regard to the circumstances of the offence, the client’s good character, charitable work overseas, lack of criminal antecedents, prospects of rehabilitation and remorse. Additionally, We made persuasive submissions relying on authority from the High Court of Australia. The submissions were accepted and, despite the quantity of drugs found in his possession, the matter was dismissed pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, conditional upon our client entering into a bond to be of good behaviour for 18 months. This was an excellent result and our client was thrilled to have avoided a conviction.