Navigating Drug Possession Laws

Welcome to the St Walter Lawyers Guide on Navigating Drug Possession Laws in New South Wales. This comprehensive resource is designed to help you understand the complexities of drug charges, including the latest updates on the Penalty Notice Scheme. Whether you're facing charges or seeking to avoid a criminal record, our expert legal advice is tailored to guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you make informed decisions for the best possible outcome.
Drug Possessions

St Walter Lawyers Guide: Navigating Drug Possession Laws in NSW, including the new Penalty Notice Scheme

1. Beat Drug Possession Charges with St. Walter Lawyers
If you find yourself facing drug possession charges in New South Wales (NSW), it’s crucial to understand the legal landscape and enlist the right defence. At St Walter Lawyers, we specialise in criminal defence, and our experienced team is dedicated to helping you secure the best possible outcome, whether it’s avoiding imprisonment, fines, or walking away without a criminal record.

2. Avoid a Criminal Record for a Possession Charge
In NSW, it’s possible to avoid a criminal record even if you plead guilty, thanks to Section 10 – non-convictions. St Walter Lawyers’ drug defence lawyers have a proven track record of securing favourable outcomes, reducing serious possession charges, and ensuring no convictions are recorded.

Understanding the intricacies of drug possession charges and having the right legal representation is essential. Let’s delve into the specifics of NSW possession laws and how the right defence can make a difference.

3. Understanding Drug Possession Charges in NSW
In NSW, police can charge individuals with various drug-related offences, including:

  • Possession: Being caught with drugs for personal use.
  • Use: Being caught using drugs or visibly under the influence.
  • Supply: Distributing drugs to others.
  • Deemed Supply: Holding amounts that suggest an intent to sell, e.g., cannabis (300g), heroin (3g), amphetamine (3g), ecstasy (3g or 15 tablets), LSD (0.003g or 15 tablets).
  • Holding Drug Equipment: Possession of drug paraphernalia.

More serious charges, such as manufacturing and supply associated with running a ‘drug premises,’ are typically for those dealing with large quantities, not recreational users.

Penalties for Drug Possession in NSW; for drug possession in NSW, penalties can include fines up to $11,000 and imprisonment for up to two years. The severity depends on factors like the quantity of drugs and your prior record.

4. On-the-Spot Fines/Penalty Notice Scheme
NSW police can issue on-the-spot fines for possession of small amounts of drugs under the penalty notice scheme. For instance, fines may apply to MDMA/ecstasy (0.25g or less), cocaine (1g), amphetamine (1g), and others. This scheme streamlines the process, offering a $400 fine without a court appearance or criminal record.

5. Cannabis Caution Scheme
Cannabis is excluded from on-the-spot fines due to the cannabis caution scheme. Police may issue cautions for possessing less than 15g of cannabis, admitting to personal use, having no 

prior drug convictions, and meeting specific criteria. However, caution issuance is discretionary.

While on-the-spot fines and cautions are discretionary, cooperating with police and maintaining a polite behaviour can influence their decisions.

6. Defences for Drug Possession in NSW
Several defences may excuse individuals from drug possession charges in NSW:

  1. Illegal Search: Challenging the legality of police actions during searches.
  2. Unawareness: Demonstrating lack of knowledge about the drugs.
  3. Common Area Possession: Proving the drugs were found in a shared space.
  4. Necessity or Duress: Arguing possession due to threats to personal safety.
  5. Substance Not on Prohibited List: Confirming the drug is not on the prohibited substances list.

7. Pleading Guilty or Not Guilty
Deciding whether to plead guilty or not guilty is a complex decision. If a viable defence exists, pleading not guilty may be worthwhile. However, early guilty pleas, supported by character references, apology letters, counselling, or rehab, can lead to leniency, especially for first-time offenders.

8. Avoiding Conviction
Securing a Section 10 – non-conviction is possible with the right defence. Avoiding drugs altogether is the best prevention, but if caught, being cooperative and presenting a strong defence is key. We can help any individual to tailor all material to be tendered to the Court to assist on Sentence and raise chances of an individual receiving leniency.

9. Getting Legal Help for Drug Possession Charges in NSW
Legal representation is crucial when facing drug possession charges in NSW. St Walter Lawyers, based in Sydney, offers top-tier drug offence lawyers dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for clients. Contact us to secure the legal assistance you need during this challenging time.

Remember, making informed decisions and having a robust legal defence can make a significant difference in the outcome of drug possession charges. Trust St Walter Lawyers to guide you through the complexities of NSW drug possession laws and secure the best possible resolution for your case.