Supply a prohibited drug 

Supply a prohibited drug is one of the most serious drug offences.  If you have been charged with supplying a prohibited drug, you will need an expert drug lawyer to defend your case.    

Penalties for Supplying prohibited drugs vary widely depending on the type of drug and the quantity of drug the charge relates to but can include imprisonment of 2 years to up to 25 years to life in prison.  

Australian Criminal Law Group has the best criminal lawyers in Sydney for drug supply offences. We get the best result for you whether you a charged with a smaller supply offence like selling MDMA to friends at a music festival. Or, a serious drug offence like supplying a large commercial quantity of ice. 

Our clients include members of large commercial drug enterprises, dial-a-dealer drivers, and first-time offenders charged with one-off supplies. If you are charged with supply, do not settle for second best when it comes to this very serious offence. Our criminal lawyers beat drug supply charges. We have drugs supply charges dismissed without convictions, and without our clients being sentenced to prison. Read more about having no conviction recorded for Supply of a prohibited drug. 

What is considered “Supply”? 

Supplying a Prohibited Drug is outlined as an offence in Section 25 – Supply of prohibited drugs of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).   

Section 3 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act defines “supply”; 

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

Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, Section 3, accessed 12 June 2021 at 15:53 

What is deemed supply of prohibited drugs? 

If drugs found in your possession weigh more than a certain weight, then you will be charged with supply, even if there is no other evidence you intended to sell the drugs. The logic behind this law is that a person is unlikely to have large quantities of drugs solely for personal use. If you are charged with deemed supply, you will have to prove to the court that you had the drugs for a purpose other than supplying them. 

Section 29 sets out when possession will be deemed to be for supply as follows: 

“A person who has in his or her possession an amount of a prohibited drug which is not less than the trafficable quantity of the prohibited drug shall, for the purposes of this Division, be deemed to have the prohibited drug in his or her possession for supply, unless: 

(a)  the person proves that he or she had the prohibited drug in his or her possession otherwise than for supply, or 

(b) except where the prohibited drug is prepared opium, cannabis leaf, cannabis oil, cannabis resin, heroin or 6-monoacetylmorphine or any other acetylated derivatives of morphine, the person proves that he or she obtained possession of the prohibited drug on and in accordance with the prescription of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, midwife practitioner, dentist or veterinary surgeon.” 

Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, Section 3, accessed 12 June 2021 at 15:53 

Why is weight of drug so important? 

The weight of the drug determines whether your case is a deemed supply. Weight also determines whether the offence is dealt with in the Local Court or the District Court where there are juries and higher maximum penalties. 

What are the penalties for drug supply in NSW? 

The penalties vary widely depending on the quantity and type of drugs but can include imprisonment of 2 years to up to 25 years to life in prison. 

Maximum imprisonment terms are outlined as follows; 


If Local Court 

If District Court 

If District Court + child is exposed in manufacture 

 Small Qty 

2 years imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine 

15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine 

18-years imprisonment and/or $264,000 fine 

Between Small and Commercial Qty 

2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine 

15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine 

Same penalties as above 

Commercial Qty 

Cannot be dealt with in Local Court 

20 years imprisonment and/or $385,000 fine 

25-years imprisonment and/or $462,00 fine 

Large Commercial Qty 

Cannot be dealt with in Local Court 

Life imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine 

Life imprisonment and/or $660,000 fine 

Drug Weight Categories : 

Prohibited Plant/Drug 

Small Qty. 





Cannabis Leaf 







1 g 

3.0 g 

5 g 

250.0 g 

1 Kg 


1 g 

3 g 

5 g 

250.0 g 

1 Kg 


1 g 

3 g 

5 g 

250.0 g 

1 Kg 

Lysergic acid 

0.0008 g 

0.003 g 

0.005 g 

0.5 g 

2 Kg 


1 g 

3 g 

5 g 

250 g 

1 Kg 


0.8 g 

0.75 g 

1.25 g 

125 g 

500 Kg 

How do I beat a drug supply charge? 

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Supply of a prohibited drug if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that you supplied or knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug. 

Knowingly “take part” is defined in the Act to include:  

  • Where a person takes steps, or participates in, any step, or causes any step to be taken, in the process of manufacturer 
  • Where a person provides or arranges finance for any step in that process 
  • Where a person provides premises in which any such step in the process is taken, or permits or suffers any such steps in that process to be taken in the premises of which the person is the owner, leaseholder or occupier or in the management of which the person participates 

What are the defences for drug supply charges? 

The best defence for drug supply charges is that the drugs were in possession for some purpose other than for supply.   This could be for personal use or because the drugs were being held for another person with the intention of giving them back to that person.   In either case, the accused would have to give evidence as to why the drugs were in their possession.  

Pleading guilty to prohibited drugs supply charges 

If you agree that you have committed the offence and the police are able to prove so, it is best to plead guilty. You will normally receive a discount on your sentence, and it will demonstrate remorse. If you intend to plead guilty, our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts, or even a less serious charge. 

The maximum penalty for supplying a prohibited drug is two years imprisonment in the Local Court. Where the offence is dealt with in the District Court, the maximum penalty is between 10 years imprisonment and life imprisonment depending on the type of drug and weight of the drug. 

Read more about all the sentencing options that a court has, including not having a conviction recorded. 

Do I need references for my charge of Supplying a Prohibited Drug? 

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court.  By having good character references it is almost always possible to get much more lenient sentences.  Visit our Court Processes and References page to find out how to write a good reference.

Why choose the Australian Criminal Law Group? 

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for the charge of supplying a prohibited drug. For these offences, our drug lawyers can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail. 

To discuss your charge of Supplying a prohibited drug, call the Australian Criminal Law Group at our SydneyParramatta, and Blacktown offices at (02) 8815 8167 or send us an email at


Case Study – Indictable Quantity MDMA at Music Festival charge withdrawn

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. Mr Adut convinced the DPP that the charge could not be proven and that the proceeding would be a waste of time. It would expose the state to a considerable costs order. The Police and DPP reluctantly agreed and withdrew the Supply charge. 

Case Study – Supply of Ecstasy at Music Festival downgraded to Possession 

Joseph appeared for a person charged with the supply of 110 ecstasy tablets at the Future Music Festival. Joseph explained to the court that his client was holding 88 of those pills for a friend. 22 tablets were to be given to other friends at the festival. Joseph was able to successfully convince the DPP that the ‘ Carey defence’ applied in this case. The 88 pills should be dealt with on a possession charge.  The matter proceeded to sentence at the District Court over a 9-month period. The judge required our client to undertake weekly urine drug testing. The judge imposed a sentence of two good behaviour bonds, without convictions, for the possession of 88 pills and supply of 22 pills charges. 

Case Study – Bail for accused of Cocaine Supply

Joseph appeared for a person charged with supply of 900g of Cocaine. He got the Accused person’s bail by tendering the brief of evidence and arguing the crown case was a weak one against the client. 

Case Study – Charges dismissed for accused with a large quantity of drugs

Australian Criminal Law Group appeared for an Accused person who had been pulled over by the police. Large quantities of drugs were found concealed in the company car. Our solicitor argued that the police could not prove the cocaine and methylamphetamine belonged to the Accused as opposed to another person. The Magistrate at Penrith Local Court ordered that the charges be dismissed and ordered the police pay the legal costs of our client. 

Case Study – Supply of Cocaine charges reduced to possession

Joseph appeared for a person charged with the supply of 9 grams of cocaine. Joseph convinced the DPP to withdraw the supply charge and accept a guilty plea to a possession charge.  The matter proceeded to sentence in the Local Court and the magistrate did not record a conviction. 

Case Study – Supply of MDMA at music festival reduced to Possession

Joseph represented a person charged with the supply of 18 MDMA capsules at a music festival.  He successfully negotiated with the DPP for his client to plead guilty to one count of possession of 8 capsules and supply of 10 capsules to friends for no profit. The matter remained in the local court and was dealt with under Section 10 without conviction. 

Case Study – Suspended sentence for Guilty Plea

Mr Correy represented a man pleading guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of LSD and an indictable quantity of MDMA. He was caught by police red-handed outside a nightclub selling the drugs. His home was later raided, and a substantial quantity of drugs was found. Mr Correy convinced the judge to impose a suspended sentence instead of a sentence of full-time imprisonment. 

Case Study – Reduced sentence for ongoing supply charge

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a client charged with Ongoing Supply of MDMA and Methylamphetamine, supply of 170 grams of MDMA and supply of 3000 grams of cannabis. The offence occurred over six months and involved dozens of transactions with an undercover police officer. It could only be described as extremely serious and a jail term of some length was inevitable. Our solicitor ran a case based on our client’s documented mental health issues and significant family support. In the end, our client received a sentence of two years imprisonment. This was well less than the co-Accused and a fraction of what other similar offenders receive 


Sources: Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act, Section 3, accessed 12 June 2021 at 15:53


This information is intended as a general guide to law only.  It should not be relied on as legal advice, and it is recommended that you speak with a qualified lawyer about your situation.

Australian Criminal Law Group and its suppliers make every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information provided on its web pages. At the time of updating, this information was correct, however, given the laws in NSW and Australia are continually changing, the Australian Criminal Law Group makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. 

Don’t wait.
Get in touch now.