Drug Laws

Drug Laws in NSW

If you’re ever charged with a drugs offence, then you may have to face penalties under drug laws in NSW.

Penalties for drugs charges in NSW can range from dismissals without conviction to imprisonment. However, individuals who are directly involved in the manufacturing, possession or supply of drugs that are prohibited in the state of NSW would face a penalty up to life time imprisonment for large commercial quantities if caught.

How will NSW police respond if you possess or deal drugs?

Drug laws cover people who are using or dealing a range of drugs, from cannabis, to ecstasy and methamphetamine. To assist the police with detection of drugs, the use of drugs sniffer dogs is quite common in NSW. There is a high false-positive rate with sniffer dogs, which means that individuals who are not carrying any drugs may still be subjected to a search. Individuals who are found carrying any drugs will likely face criminal prosecution.

Those who are convicted of a drugs offence will be negatively impacted in more than one way, with conviction affecting their employment prospects or traveling opportunities.

What is illegal under NSW drug laws?

Under the NSW Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, there are many different kinds of drugs that have been labelled as prohibited. Prohibited drugs are illegal drugs, like heroin, speed, ecstasy, cocaine and others that are listed. Cannabis and opium plants are listed as prohibited plants.

What are drugs offences in NSW?

NSW drug laws cover drugs offences such as:

  • Anyone using prohibited drugs
  • Anyone in possession of such prohibited drugs
  • Supply or trafficking of prohibited drugs
  • Growing of prohibited plants
  • Manufacturing of prohibited drugs
  • Helping others in any of the above mentioned offences

Different types of penalties for misuse of prohibited drugs

Some of the penalties for drugs offences in NSW include:

Imprisonment for possession of prohibited drugs

This is the most serious penalty that an offender may face for the possession of prohibited drugs and can often involve full time detention in a correctional facility.

Home detention for the possession of prohibited drugs

Home detention is the same as full time imprisonment, but instead of being locking in a jail the offender is locked inside their own premises. The offender is monitored through an electronic monitoring system.

Suspended sentences

This penalty is less severe than the above penalties. The offender can have their jail sentence suspended upon entering into a good behaviour bond. If the good behaviour bond is properly followed, the jail sentence may not come into effect.

Community service orders

This is also a less severe type of penalty where the offender may have to work in the community (usually unpaid). A probation or parole officer usually determines the places of work for a community service order.

Fine for possession of prohibited drugs

This is a fine that the offender will need to pay if caught with any kind of prohibited drug and convicted of an offence. A judge usually determines the amount of the fine and would also consider the offender’s financial circumstances.

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