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Drug Manufacture offences 

Section 24(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 and states: “A person who manufactures or produces, or who knowingly takes part in the manufacture or production of, a prohibited drug is guilty of an offence.”

Drug offences in Australia are taken very seriously and carry hefty penalties, as is the case for Drug Manufacture crime.   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.    See full list of penalties and maximum sentences for drug manufacture below.

Australian Criminal Law Group have some of the best drug lawyers in Sydney who regularly represent clients for drug manufacture offences.    Our defence solicitors regularly get charges dropped or achieve alternative penalties to imprisonment for their clients.  These include; Section 10’s no convictions, Intensive Corrections Orders (ICO), Conditional Release Orders (with or without conviction), Community Corrections orders or fines (with conviction). 

 If you have been charged with drug manufacturing, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our legal team on (02) 8815 8167 or email us at 

How can I beat the charge of Manufacturing Prohibited Drugs?

There are a number of defences that can be used to beat charges of drug manufacture.  These include but are not limited to the following;  

  • Duress: You manufactured or took part in the manufacture of drugs because of necessity or duress. 
  • Honest and Reasonable Mistake:  You were unaware that your actions were contributing to the manufacture of prohibited drugs 
  • During manufacture you used substances that are not able to produce a prohibited drug 
  • The substance manufactured was not a prohibited drug 
  • If your charge includes that a child was exposed as part of this charge, but the child was not exposed to danger or possible harm then you will not be found guilty of this part of this offence. 

Being found guilty of drug manufacture  

The onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you took part in the manufacturing process of a prohibited drug.  That is, that either;

  • You were manufacturing or producing prohibited drugs; or  
  • You were aware of and took part in manufacturing or producing prohibited drugs; 
  • And that the substance you manufactured, produced or assisted in manufacturing or producing was in fact a prohibited drug. 

This includes assisting in the manufacture of drugs and so could include things such as; 

  • Providing the financial recourses to manufacture the drugs  
  • Providing the location and / or equipment to manufacture the drugs 
  • Taking part in the manufacture process, such as combining substances, cleaning equipment and disposing of waste. 

What are the penalties for drug manufacturing offences?

The possible penalties for drug manufacturing vary depending on the offence, the quantity of drug manufactured and what type of drug was manufactured.    These are outlined below; 

Types of penalties applicable to drug manufacture offences 

Sentencing guidelines for drug manufacturing  

Note, whether the quantity is deemed small, commercial, large commercial or otherwise, is dependent on the type of drug or prohibited plant.  maximum imprisonment terms are based on this as outlined below. 

Quantity  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.  Traffickable  Indictable Qty  Commercial Qty  Large Commercial Qty. 
Amphetamine  1 g  3.0 g  5 g  250.0 g  1 Kg 
Cocaine  1 g  3 g  5 g  250.0 g  1 Kg 
Heroin  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 
Methylamphetamine  1 g  3 g  5 g  250 g  1 Kg 
MDMA/Ecstasy  0.25 g  0.75 g  1.25 g  125 g  500 Kg 


 Pleading Not Guilty to Manufacturing Drugs Offences 

If you believe that you are innocent and did not manufacture drugs or take part in the process of manufacturing drugs, you should speak to one of our experienced drug lawyers about pleading not guilty.    

Our drug lawyers have a proven track record for beating drugs charges.   

Possible activities that do not constitute the manufacture of drugs include; 

  • Obtaining or transporting substances or equipment intended for the use of drugs manufacture  
  • Loading equipment that could be used in drugs manufacturing onto a vehicle and transporting it to a destination 
  • You attempted to manufacture drugs but used a substance or substances which are not able to produce drugs. 
  • You purchased or you possess some of the substances that are used in the manufacture of prohibited drugs but you do not plan on making prohibited drugs with them.  

Other possible defences include; 

  • You were under duress.  That is that you were threatened or coerced into manufacturing drugs and you did so out of necessity. 
  • You made an honest and reasonable mistake.  That is that you were unaware that your actions were taking part in the process of manufacturing drugs. 
  • You didn’t make a prohibited drug and/or that the substances used in the process could not produce a prohibited drug. 
  • If your charge includes that a child was exposed as part of this charge, but the child was not exposed to danger or possible harm then you will not be found guilty of this part of this offence. 

If you are planning on pleading not guilty to drug manufacture offences, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal lawyer.    

Contact Australian Criminal Law Group on (02) 8815 8167 or email us at 

Pleading Guilty to Manufacturing Drugs Offences 

If you are guilty of the manufacturing drugs offences, and you would like to plead guilty, our experienced drugs lawyers can help you get the best outcomes for your case.  

In many cases our defence lawyers can negotiate on their clients behalf to have the charges lessened and/or for the penalty of imprisonment to be avoided.    Depending on the offence, our criminal lawyers could potentially negotiate for one of the following penalties in place of jail time.  

Before entering a guilty plea, be sure to first seek advise from an experienced and proven drug lawyer to ensure the best outcome for your case.  

Contact Australian Criminal Law Group on (02) 8815 8167 or email us at 

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group to represent you? 

Australian Criminal Law Group has a team of experienced drug lawyers with a proven track record getting the best outcomes for their clients. 

We are considered amongst the best criminal law firms in Sydney with a reputation for fighting for our clients rights.    With Australian Criminal Law Group, you know that we will work tirelessly to get you the best results for your case.   

With offices in  ParramattaBlacktown and the Sydney CBD, we appear in all courts across NSW and represent clients for all criminal law matters including all drug related cases. 

Take advantage of our first free appointment offer to tell us about your case.  Contact us on (02) 8815 8167 or by email at today to make your appointment.   


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