Section 5 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 states: A person who carries on the business of unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.
-What the Police must prove – Trafficking Dangerous Drugs
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.Find expert advice about- what to do when charged with a federal level drug crime.
1. That the accused “carried on a business”. Proof of carrying on a business requires the police to establish several transactions done for gain over a more than a brief time span, but a person doesn’t need to trade indefinitely before a person can be said to carry on a business. Nor is there the need for the venture to be profitable.
2. That the accused “trafficked”. This means trading in or dealing with and includes selling.
3. It is a dangerous drug.
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Which court will hear the matter as Trafficking Dangerous Drugs The offence will be indictable and will be heard in the Supreme Court.
If the drug trafficked is steroids (schedule 2A) it may be heard in the district Court (Maximum penalty 5 Years)
-Possible Defences – Trafficking Dangerous Drugs
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to:
1. Not carrying on a business (eg. single transaction not in the course of a wider notion of business, consuming drug yourself)
2. No consideration paid;
3. mistake of identity
That the actions of the Defendant did not amount to supply of drugs or display the “badges of business”
-Maximum Penalty – Trafficking Dangerous Drugs
Maximum penalties of imprisonment will depend on the type of drug you have produced and the quantities you have produced it in. The Drugs Misuse Regulations 1987 divide dangerous drugs into more serious Schedule 1 drugs (eg. Amphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Ectsasy) and serious schedule 2 drugs (eg Cannabis, Barbital).
If the dangerous drug is a schedule 1 drug, the maximum penalty is 25 Years imprisonment. If it is a schedule 2 drug, the maximum penalty is 20 years.
Factors that the court will consider when determining penalty will include:
1. the type of drug supplied (Schedules 1, 2 and 2A);
2. the quantity of the drug (Schedules 3 and 4);
3. their value;
4. the nature of the venture or undertaking;
5. and whether the activities are commercial or to feed a habit;
6. the period of trafficking; and
7. the degree of involvement of the defendant ie. Principal, Middle Man, Street Level Supplier.