A drug charge conviction can have catastrophic consequences to someone’s job, personal life, and future. It is among the most serious criminal offences and can lead to significant fines or imprisonment, and sometimes both.
If you’ve been indicted with a drug possession charge or a more serious offence, you should immediately seek help from drug lawyers Sydney. They have the expertise to study your case and guide you on how to proceed. In addition, they will know the type of defence that can lead to a ‘not guilty’ verdict for you.
So, to know what kind of defences work against drug charges read through the list below.
1. Police are unable to prove possession
Many people aren’t aware that when police seize drugs, the onus is on them to prove possession beyond a reasonable doubt. In simple terms, it means the police have to prove that you were aware of the drugs in your control or custody. They also have to prove that you were aware that the substance seized is a drug.
This is because, often, the police find drugs during a raid or while performing a search. If the car, house, or any other place the drugs are found in are used by many people, it may be difficult for the police to prove possession against one person.
2. Drugs found were meant for personal use
Suppose someone is found in possession of a large quantity of drugs. In that case, they are most likely to be charged with the intent to supply under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 – Section 29. This happens when the bulk of drugs exceeds the trafficable quantity.
However, there is still a way out of this. Under section 29(a), an offender will not be charged with the intent to supply if he or she can prove the drugs were meant for some other purpose, such as personal consumption.
Occasionally, certain cases may demand that a professional be called in to testify that the drugs found were indeed not in excessive amounts.
The defence of duress can be raised when there is an extreme threat to the accused or their family. If the threat led to or caused injury or even the death of the accused or a family member, a defence of duress can be an option. However, when duress is claimed, the onus to prove it lies on the accused. He or she must prove the following:
- That an actual threat was made.
- That the threat caused or intended to cause grave injury or death of the accused or his/her family member.
- That the threat was so serious that anyone of the same sex, disposition, and clarity of mind as the accused would have acted the same way the accused did.
- That the accused acted in the way that he or she did because the threat was affecting his/her judgement at the time of the act.
- That the threat had to be continuing for it to have that kind of an effect on the accused.
When claiming duress, your drug defence lawyers can help you with providing evidence for the above points. Once that is done, the onus will shift to the prosecution, who must prove the claim of duress was false.
Why is it important to hire drug lawyers in Sydney?
The use of cocaine and other illicit drugs has been steadily rising over the last few years in Sydney. Studies show that despite an increasing number of drug seizures by the police, the use of dangerous drugs is yet to decline. Police worry that people might switch consumption from fun weekly doses to a daily affair, leading to a rise in other crimes.
Representing yourself is a bad idea, especially against such serious accusations. So, if you ever find yourself inadvertently caught in a drug charge case, contact drug lawyers in Sydney immediately.Last modified: June 22, 2021