Facts of the Case – the client had attended a music festival over New Years 2009, and in the course of doing so, was detected by a drug detection dog to be in possession of 7 ecstasy tablets and 3 grams of methylaphetamine (speed). The client was in danger of facing drug supply charges being laid upon him, given the quantity of the ecstasy she was found with. After the matter was referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide if a supply charge should be laid, the Prosecution elected to proceed only on the basis of possession charges. However, given the quantity of the drugs, this was a more serious case of possession than what would ordinarily be expected. The client worked in Government, and therefore the prospect of having criminal convictions recorded against her was something which would have been detrimental to her further career prospects.
Result – in respect of both offences, the charges were found proven, though dismissed pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, conditional upon the client entering into good behaviour bonds for a period of 6 months. Given that there was a very real prospect of supply prohibited drug charges being laid, it was fortuitous that the matter stayed in the Local Court simply as a case of possession. The prospect of the matter being dismissed pursuant to section 10 without a conviction was going to be problematic from the outset, given the quantity of the drugs involved. However, given the combination of the client’s prior good character, maturity, unlikelihood of further offending, and prospects of rehabilitation, the Magistrate viewed it as an expedient option not to record a conviction, but to nevertheless place the client on some form of conditional liberty. The client therefore had preserved her prospects of career advancement in government.