If you have been charged with possessing equipment, material or substances to manufacture a drug of dependence, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of possession of equipment etc. to manufacture drug of dependence, they must satisfy three elements of the offence. They can be found in s 71A of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) and are as follows:
- The accused intentionally trafficked or attempted to traffic in quantity of a drug of dependence not less than the commercial quantity applicable to that drug of dependence; and
- The accused did so without authorisation.
A drug of dependence is defined in s 4 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic).
Will I have to go to court?
Charges for this offence will usually be heard alongside other charges relating to the possession or trafficking of drugs of dependence and the charge may be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court or County Court, depending on the circumstances of the charge. A charge for this offence may or may not go to trial with a jury.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove the elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the possible penalties for this offence are serious.
The maximum penalty a charge for trafficking a drug of dependence is 10 years imprisonment, known as Level 5 imprisonment.
What sentences are usually given?
According to the Sentencing Council Victoria, between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 80 people were sentenced with trafficking in a drug of dependence as the principal offence. From that number, 68.8% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 8.5 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 1.5 years.
Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (8.8%) and Wholly Suspended Sentences (15%).
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.