A member asked over 7 years ago

Drug Trafficking

Hey, I have charges of drug trafficking made against me. One of them includes the possession of 300~ grams of Alprazolam. Although I did supply a small amount of it, the large quantity was intended for personal use, as I have a sleeping mental illness / anxiety. If I am able to prove that I have this disorder, will it have an impact on the sentencing of the charge? Will I be able to have the charge reduced to supplying, as I have not trafficked or intended to traffic the large amount of the substance?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. It is assumed that you have been charged under NSW law. Note that different rules will apply if your offence involved drug importation or trafficking across borders, in which case the matter will be dealt with under national drug and trafficking laws.

In NSW, under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), it is a criminal offence to possess certain prohibited drugs (known as ‘possession’). It is a separate offence to supply prohibited drugs to another person (known as ‘supply’). There is not a separate offence for ‘trafficking’ drugs. Rather, the offence of supplying drugs will attract a higher penalty if the quantity of the drug supplied exceeds a certain threshold (known as a ‘traffickable quantity’).

You said that you possessed approximately 300 grams of Alprazolam at the time of the offence. The law says that 15 grams or more of Alprazolam is a traffickable quantity of the drug, and therefore attracts higher penalties for both possession and supply. The law also says that, a person possessing a traffickable quantity of a drug, is guilty of supplying that drug unless they can prove that: (a) they possessed the drug for a reason other than supply, or (b) the drug was prescribed by a medical practitioner.

If you had a genuine medical reason for possessing the drug and/or the drug was prescribed to you by a medical practitioner, then you may have grounds for having the charge against you downgraded or withdrawn.

If the charge against you remains the same, there are several factors that can determine the seriousness of the penalty you are given. For example, a person who pleads guilty to an offence will generally get a lower sentence than someone who does not. Furthermore, in sentencing an offender, a court must consider the personal circumstances of the offender and the context in which the offending conduct occurred. In your situation, the court may take into account your mental health and other personal circumstances that would influence the penalty imposed against you.

Suggested way forward

Defending a criminal charge can be difficult, especially if you disagree with the nature of the charge laid against you. You should consider speaking to a lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf with police prosecutors and advise you of the best way to deal with the charge. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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