What is Drug Possession?
To be charged with drug possession, you need to have a prohibited drug in your physical custody or control.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the drug is yours, you can be holding it for a friend, or have drugs in your room at home.
In order to be charged with drug possession, you have to be aware, or in a situation where you should be aware, that the drug is there.
Here are some examples of situations that can lead to a drug possession charge:
- Failing to dispose of a prohibited drug after finding out it has been planted on you
- Suspecting you may have drugs on your person, but not checking, for example if someone else requests that you carry their luggage through customs.
Here are some examples of situations which would not lead to a drug possession charge:
- Someone else leaves drugs in your car, workplace or at your home without you having knowledge, or reason to suspect they are there
- Someone puts drugs into your pocket without your knowledge, or you having reason to suspect they are there.
Drug possession in NSW carries a maximum penalty of a $2,200 fine, and/or up to two years imprisonment.
However, a good drug lawyer will often be able to help you avoid a criminal conviction even if you are found to be in possession of a drug.
This can be done by asking the Magistrate for a ‘section 10 dismissal or conditional release order‘, which means that you are guilty but no conviction is recorded against you because of your prior good character, your need to stay conviction-free and the relatively small amount of the drug eg a few ecstacy tablets or a gram or two of cocaine or amphetamines.