Expert Drug Offences Lawyers in Melbourne
If you are charged with drug offences, an expert criminal lawyer can assist you in navigating this sometimes complex area of law. At Slades & Parsons, our lawyers ensure that each element of the offence is properly tested before considering whether to plead guilty or proceed to trial. In some cases, not all of the elements of a drug offence can be proven by the Prosecution, so it is necessary to engage an experienced legal team who can advise you accordingly.
The maximum penalty for some drug offence cases is life imprisonment. It is important that, if there is any doubt about your ‘knowledge’ or ‘control over’ the drugs, your solicitor can present this evidence cogently in court.
If you plead guilty, an expert defence lawyer will present mitigating material to the court that may impact your sentence. Specific personal factors surrounding the offending can also be relevant. Your lawyer can help reduce the severity of the sentence by presenting character witnesses or expert material to the court.
For more information about drug offences, please see our frequently asked questions.
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Types of Drug Offence Charges
There are different categories of drug offences such as Use, Possession, Trafficking, Cultivation, Manufacturing, Importing and Exporting of a Drug of Dependence. These categories will depend on the type of substance, the quantity of the substance and even the quality of the substance. Slades & Parsons’ drug offences lawyers are highly experienced in representing clients and defending drug charges.
One of the most common drug offences is ‘Possession’. To ‘Possess’ a drug can mean having a drug on your person or in a property that you occupy. This can extend to growing cannabis anywhere on the premises. You can also be charged with possession if drugs are found in your car or any car you are driving.
You could be charged with trafficking drugs of dependence if you are caught with a large quantity of the drug, preparing a drug (dividing into smaller packages) or manufacturing a drug, selling the drug or even purchasing drugs on behalf of another.
An experienced lawyer with a thorough understanding of legislation and case law for drug offences can sometimes make a difference between whether you face charges of ‘possession’ or ‘trafficking’ drugs. Slades Parsons is a Melbourne law firm offering solicitors with such expertise.
Trial Representation for Drug Offences
A defence lawyer is able to assist you throughout the pre-trial stage and in court if your matter proceeds to a jury trial. It is vital to engage a lawyer at an early stage so that they are able to provide early legal advice and analysis of the evidence. This places you in a better position to defend the charges as the court date approaches.
Engaging a good defence lawyer at an early stage may also result in reduced charges. Your lawyer should be able to identify and demonstrate weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and even negotiate more suitable outcomes with the prosecution. This can even result in the prosecution discontinuing the charges or not opposing Defence having their charges heard in a lower court jurisdiction.
For expert drug offences solicitors in Melbourne, contact Slades & Parsons.
Case Study - Drug Offences
Our client had a history of drug addiction and drug related offending. He was charged with trafficking and possessing cannabis. Police had found 428 grams of the drug in different places throughout his property. With his prior criminal history, conviction for trafficking could have meant a substantial custodial sentence.
Our client said that he only knew about 36g of the cannabis, which he admitted he possessed just for personal use. Slades and Parsons negotiated with the prosecution about the charges. In these negotiations, we convinced the prosecution that the charges of trafficking cannabis and possessing 428g of cannabis would be difficult to prove. This was because several people occupied the property, and our client denied knowledge of most of the amount of the drug. Because of these negotiations, the prosecution withdrew the charge of trafficking. They also amended the possession charge to 36g, which was all our client admitted to. The defendant pleaded guilty to possession of this relatively small amount. The outcome for our client was a fine of $500.
Drug Diversion Programs
A lawyer who is experienced in defending drug charges will be able to advise you about options such as participating in the ‘drug diversion program’. Such options in the case of drug offences can result in avoiding court hearings and sentencing.
You may be eligible for diversion programs depending on many factors. For example, your personal circumstances, your criminal record, and the seriousness of the offence.
The Magistrate can also consider evidence such as character references or reports from a counsellor or doctor.
Expert criminal defence lawyers can help you gather this information and request to receive a drug diversion plan. This can also mean that you don’t proceed to a hearing in open court and if successful, will avoid a criminal record.