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WA Court Summons for Drugs - Criminal Record?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Sam1617, 14 June 2015.

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  1. Sam1617

    Sam1617 Member

    14 June 2015
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    I had one MDMA pill ( drugs) in my possession at a music festival and have received a court summons.

    What is the penalty and will I be able to get this as a spent conviction so it does not show on my criminal record?
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
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    Hi Sam1617,

    Sentencing is always very difficult to predict because it depends on a number of things, such as your particular background, your conduct in court, your criminal history etc.

    The maximum sentence for simple possession is $2,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment. The factors affecting this include:
    • Type of drug (pure and impure chemicals); and
    • Quantity of each pure drug.
    If it is just one pill, at a party, you will unlikely get the maximum sentence.

    I believe you mean diversion program, and not spent conviction. A spent conviction is a conviction that "expires" (in the sense it is covered in your criminal history) after 10 years. Most convictions are spent after 10 years (in the sense they no longer show up on a simple background check). A diversion program requires you to plead to committing the crime, you accept conditions recommended to you by the police and imposed by court, and the police formally withdraws the charge when you complete your conditions. The benefit of this is you do not get a conviction because the police withdraws the charge so you cannot be convicted. This means it will not show up on your criminal record.

    For a diversion program, the police will need to recommend it to court, and the court will need to accept it. The court has discretion whether to accept the police's recommendation for diversion. They will look at the severity of the crime (simple possession may qualify for diversion) and your criminal history. You may be asked to undertake some programs, such as rehabilitation programs or write a letter of apology or other conditions, and upon completion, your diversion will be complete.

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