The Queensland Government has some great schemes in place to avoid sending people who have committed minor drug offences to jail. Here’s everything you need to know about court diversion for minor drug offences, as told by our Brisbane drug lawyers.
What is Court Diversion for Minor Drug Offences?
If you are over 17 years old, your case will be heard in the Magistrate’s court. Before your hearing, a Court diversion officer (CDO) will speak to you about whether or not you are eligible for court diversion. If so, the CDO will tell the court that you are eligible for the program.
If you are deemed eligible, it is likely you will need to sign a ‘recognisance’ which is essentially an agreement that you will participate in a drug education program. This drug education program involves a consultation with a health service provider to prepare a plan to tackle the offenders drug-related behaviour.
If you successfully complete the program, no conviction is recorded against your name. However, if you do not complete the program or you commit another offence before completion, you will likely be susceptible to large fines and harsher sentencing.
Are You Eligible?
There are a number of conditions that your case must comply with in order for you to be eligible for court diversion. These include;
- You have admitted guilt to the offence
- Your case is heard in the magistrates or Childrens Court
- You have not previously been convicted of, or are facing charges of a sexual or drug-related nature
- You have been charged with one or more minor drug offences
What Is a Considered a Minor Drug Offence?
Minor drug offences eligible for court diversion include, but are not limited to:
- Possession of a small amount of drugs
- Possession of drug paraphernalia (items used for the consumption of drugs)
- Failure to take reasonable care of/dispose of a syringe
What counts as a small amount of drugs will depend on the drug in question, but examples include:
- 50 grams of cannabis
- 3 tickets of LSD
- 1 gram of cocaine, heroin, amphetamine or methadone
The full list of minor drug quantities can be found in Schedule 1 of the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2005.
Get Legal Advice From Drug Lawyers
An experienced drug lawyer can provide you with advice as to whether court diversion is the best possible outcome for your case. Guest Lawyers offer free initial consultations, including in prisons, to provide advice on any drug-related or criminal matter.
Please get in touch with our lawyers either via Guest Lawyers’ email or by calling (07) 3211 3007. Our team of experienced Brisbane drug lawyers will be more than happy to assist you. Or, read more about our team.