Supply a Prohibited Drug

What is supply a prohibited drug?

The offence of Supply a prohibited drug is found at section 25 of the Drugs (Misuse and Trafficking) Act 1985.

Supply a prohibited drug is an offence that can be established by evidence of you actually supplying a drug (e.g. witness evidence, phone intercepts and text messages) or by the amount of the drugs in your possession. Common examples of where a person’s prospects of successfully defending the charge are increased include where the prosecution is reliant on the testimony of one witness, phone taps or text messages which are open to interpretation, the drugs are found in a communal area of a property or car, or in circumstances where possession of the drugs for personal use can be established.

Depending on the seriousness of the allegation against you and the effect of a conviction, the charge of Supply prohibited drug may be dealt with by way of section 10 (meaning no conviction) or full time imprisonment. For example, if a magistrate or judge finds that you were substantially involved in supply or trafficking, a term of full time imprisonment is to be ordered in all but exceptional circumstances. Alternatively, an example of where a court would have the discretion not to record a conviction is where a person has supplied ecstasy to friends at a music festival and will lose their job as a consequence.

If you are charged with the offence of Supply a prohibited drug, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.

Pleading not guilty

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Supply a prohibited drug if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You supplied or knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug

Supply includes sell and distribute, and also includes agreeing to supply, or offering to supply, or keeping or having in possession for supply, or sending, forwarding, delivering or receiving for supply, or authorizing, directing, causing, suffering, permitting or attempting any of those acts or things.

What is deemed supply?

The Drugs (Misuse and Trafficking) Act 1985 contains what is known as a deeming provision. What this means is that if the drugs weigh a traffickable quantity or more then they will deemed to be for supply even if there is no other evidence of the drugs being for supply. The logic behind this provision is that a person is unlikely to have large quantities of drugs solely for personal use.  Where the amount of the drug is not less than the “traffickable quantity”, you will have to prove on the balance of probabilities that you had the drug otherwise than for supply.

Why is weight of drug so important in supply cases?

The weight of the drugs in Supply a prohibited drug cases are vital. The weight of the drug determines not only whether the deeming provision has application but also whether the offence has to be dealt with in the District Court as opposed to the Local Court and the maximum penalty that you will face.

The Table below contains some of the more common drugs. The complete list is to be found in Schedule 1 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act.

Prohibited plant or prohibited drug Trafficable quantity Small quantity Indictable quantity Commercial quantity Large commercial quantity Discrete dosage unit (DDU)
Amphetamine (Ice and speed)
3.0 g 1.0 g 5.0 g 250.0 g 1.0 kg
Cannabis leaf 300.0 g 30.0 g 1000.0 g 25.0 kg 100.0 kg
Cannabis oil 5.0 g 2.0 g 10.0 g 500.0 g 2.0 kg
Cannabis plant 5 50 250 1000
Cannabis resin 30.0 g 5.0 g 90.0 g 2.5 kg 10.0 kg
Cocaine 3.0 g 1.0 g 5.0 g 250.0 g 1.0 kg
Heroin 3.0 g 1.0 g 5.0 g 250.0 g 1.0 kg
Lysergic acid 15 DDU or 0.003 g 4 DDU or 0.0008 g 25 DDU or 0.005 g 0.0005 kg 0.002 kg 0.0002 g
3,4– Methylenedioxyam phetamine (Ecstasy) .75 g .25 g 1.25 g .125 kg .5 kg

What are the defences to Supply?

If the police are able to prove you committed the offence beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

Contact our offices in Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organize a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Supply a prohibited drug.

Pleading guilty

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

Depending on the seriousness of the allegation against you and the effect of a conviction, the charge of Supply prohibited drug may be dealt with by way of section 10 (meaning no conviction and no criminal record) or full time imprisonment. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

The maximum penalties for the offence of Supply prohibited drug depends of the weight and type of drug. Where the weight is less than an indictable quantity, the offence may be dealt with in the Local Court and the maximum penalty will be 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine. Where the offence is dealt with in the District Court the maximum penalty is as prescribed in the table below. Offences involving large commercial quantities carry standard non parole periods.

Amount Local Court maximum penalty District Court maximum penalty
Small quantity $5500.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000.00 and/or 10 years imprisonment
More than a small quantity but not more than indictable quantity(cannabis) 11,000.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000.00 and/or 10 years imprisonment
More than a small quantity but not more than indictable quantity(other drugs) 11,000.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000.00 and/or 15 years imprisonment
More than an indictable quantity but not more than a commercial quantity(cannabis) $5500.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000.00 and/or 10 years imprisonment
More than an indictable quantity but not more than a commercial quantity(other drugs) Strictly indictable $220,000.00 and/or 15 years imprisonment
More than a commercial quantity but less than a large commercial quantity (cannabis) Strictly indictable $385,000.00 and/or 15 years imprisonment
More than a commercial quantity but less than a large commercial quantity (other drugs) Strictly indictable $385,000.00 and/or 20 years imprisonment
More than a large commercial quantity(cannabis) Strictly indictable $550,000.00 and/or 20 years imprisonment
More than a large commercial quantity(other drugs) Strictly indictable $550,000.00 and/or life imprisonment

Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:

Why choose AC Law Group?

Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Supply offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a section 1o and criminal record and freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.

To discuss your Supply charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

AC Law Group represented a person pleading guilty to supply of methylamphetamine. The drugs, found in two packages, weighed more than 5 grams together. Where methylamphetamine weighs more than 5 grams, the offence has to be dealt with in the District Court. Our solicitor made representations to the police that the Accused person was a user-dealer and one packet of drugs was for personal use not supply. The police agreed to charge one package of drugs as possession and the weight for the supply charge dropped below 5 grams. The charge stayed in the Local Court and the person was sentenced to a good behaviour bond.

Case Study 2

AC Law Group represented a young man pleading guilty to supplying a indictable quantity of MDMA and commercial quantity of LSD. He has been caught by police red-handed outside a night club selling the drugs and in his car and home police located almost 100’s of pills and tablets. Our solicitor made submissions that the young man was not substantially involved in supply and the judge agreed by sentencing him to a suspended sentence, meaning he did not go to gaol.

Case Study 3

Mr Correy represented a young woman charged with supplying ecstasy following Defqon1 music festival. The police charged the woman with supplying more than the indictable quantity of MDMA after she made admissions to intending to give the drugs to friends. Normally the charge would need to be finalised in the District Court because of the weight of the drugs. Mr Correy wrote to the DPP and stated that the matter could be finalised in the Local Court if the drugs were listed as methyl-amphetamine. This was because the indictable weight for methyl-amphetamine is more than ecstasy. The DPP agreed and the charge stayed in the Local Court. Mr Correy then prepared a case based on the effect of a conviction preventing her being able to travel to America to see family – whom she had a long history of visiting – and made submissions that the charge be dismissed pursuant to section 10.

Case Study 4

Mr Adut represented a young man charged with supplying an indictable quantity of MDMA at a music festival. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions were relying on the deeming provision in that our client was found with in excess of 15 pills. The matter was to proceed to a trial before a jury but Mr Adut convinced the DPP in representations on the day of the trial that the charge could not be proven and that proceeding would be a waste of time, exposing the state to a considerable costs order. The Police and DPP reluctantly agreed and withdrew the Supply charge.

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