If you have been charged with drug possession in NSW, the prosecution has a number of elements that they need to prove in order for a conviction to succeed. Depending upon the nature of the proceedings, and your individual circumstances, the penalties can vary.
Maximum sentence for drug possession
The maximum sentence for drug possession is two years imprisonment.
Few people convicted of drug possession receive a prison sentence, however, with fines being more common. Other potential penalties include a Conditional Release Order or Community Correction Order.
Elements of possession of drugs
Custody and control
In NSW, the possession of a prohibited drug is dealt with under section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). For a drug possession charge to be successful the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- The illegal drug was in your “custody” or “control”, and
- You knew that you had custody or control of the drug.
The term custody refers to where the prohibited drug is, such as in a pocket, bag or tucked in clothing.
The term control refers to a person’s right to have or use the drug. For example, it is not uncommon for a person to have prohibited drugs somewhere near them, yet not be in control of them. In share-house situations for instance, there might be drugs somewhere on the property that you share with others, but you have no right to these or control over them.
Quantities of prohibited drug
Quantities of a prohibited drug come into the equation. Logically, if larger amounts of certain substances are found to be in your possession, the stiffer the penalty is likely to be.
What if it’s a first offence for drug possession in NSW?
Jail time is a possibility, but ordinarily, this would not be imposed for a first offence involving a small quantity. In many instances, a conviction will not be recorded. This is often referred to as getting a “section 10”.
Nyman Gibson Miralis has over 50 years of experience in successfully defending drug possession charges.
Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.