If you have been charged with a drug-related offence in Brisbane, you should seek legal advice from specialist Brisbane drug lawyers. Queensland has very specific legislation regarding drug offences, which can often be quite confusing. We have included a brief description of what drug-related offences you can be charged with, penalties for drug-related offences, drug diversion programs and the situations in which police are permitted to search you for drugs. If you have any questions regarding the information provided in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Queensland Drug Legislation
In Brisbane and all of Queensland, there are a number of offences you can be charged with in relation to drugs. These include;
- Possession of illegal drugs
- Supplying or trafficking illegal drugs
- Cultivating or producing illegal drugs
- Publishing or possessing a recipe for the production of a dangerous drug
- Possession of drug paraphernalia (items used to produce or take drugs)
- Permitting a place to be used for a drug offense
- Any involvement with a drug laboratory
- Drug driving
More information on the specifics of each of these offences can be found through the Queensland Government here.
The severity of the penalties, should you be convicted, is dependent on the type of drug involved. In Queensland, illegal drugs are divided into three categories. Schedule 1 Part 1 drugs carry the most severe penalties, and include drugs such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamine. Recently, legislators added “Part 2” to Schedule 1 to include all anabolic and androgenic steroidal agents. Schedule 2 drugs include but are not limited to cannabis, morphine and pethidine.
Penalties for Drug Possessions and Other Offences
Penalties for drug possession and other drug-related offences vary depending on the amount and category of drug involved. For instance, supplying heroin carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison while supplying cannabis carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. For drug driving offences, if any trace of illegal drugs is found in your system or saliva while you are driving, you can be fined up to $1,400 and you could lose your licence. For more information about drug driving, have a look at this online resource from the Queensland Police.
In some cases of minor drug offences, offenders are given the opportunity to receive professional help to quit using drugs through the Police Drug Diversion Program instead of attending court and receiving a criminal record.
Police Drug Diversion Program
As stated above, The Police Drug Diversion Program is a legislated diversion program that enables police to offer eligible persons, apprehended for a minor drug offence, with an opportunity to attend and complete a Drug Diversion Assessment Program instead of having to go through the normal court process and incur a criminal record. In the case of this program, a minor drug offence includes the possession of no more than 50 grams of cannabis, or an item that is used for smoking cannabis. For a comprehensive brochure by the Queensland Police on the specifics of this program, click here.
The Court can also require you to attend a diversion program rather than recording a conviction or imposing a penalty such as a fine, probation or imprisonment.
Police Searches for Drug Possession
A police officer has the power to:
- Search you if they reasonably suspect you may have a dangerous drug in your possession (including a strip search as long as it is done by an officer of the same sex)
- Stop and search your vehicle if they reasonably suspect there is a dangerous drug in the vehicle
- Search your house or business (in some circumstances) if they reasonably suspect there is evidence that may otherwise be hidden or destroyed
- Use drug detection dogs in certain places
- Police officers may also have the ability to search you in other situations without a warrant. You can read more about this here.
- It is important to be aware that if you are being investigated for a drug-related offence you may be asked to provide your name and address. It is against the law not to answer. If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, you should seek legal advice from Queensland or Brisbane drug lawyers.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, you should obtain legal advice from a criminal law firm immediately. We are available 24 hours per day. Even if you are arrested outside of business hours it is imperative you receive legal advice immediately to avoid making admissions or discussing matters with police that you would otherwise not be require to do.
Guest Lawyers always have a lawyer on call ready to provide you with relevant and important advice, 24 hours per day.
Guest’s specialist Brisbane drug lawyers can assist you in police interviews, represent you in court and provide all other types of legal assistance to lessen the severity of your penalty. We offer initial consultations (including in prisons) to assist with criminal matters. In addition to representing people all over Queensland, we often travel to other states and territories. Our lawyers are admitted to practice all over Australia.
For your initial consultation, please get in touch with us either via email or by calling (07) 3211 3007. Our team of experienced Brisbane criminal lawyers will be more than happy to assist you.