NSW First Drugs Offence and Mental Health Issues

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4 May 2015
My 18 year old was arrested for possession and selling of drugs (MDMA). She sold 6 and had 4 on her. Its her first offence with her boyfriend. She goes to court on the 14 May 2015. This is totally out of character for her to do and she is regretting it incredibly, been one big way to cure her of ever even using again. But she is also bipolar and I'm concerned that because of the conviction she will get that she knows she will have a massive problem getting a job which she is looking for at the moment.

She does work a few hours at Kmart, but nothing permanent. She has been there for 4 years. However, with this stigma attached to her now are we able to apply to the courts for a punishment, but not a conviction noted on her record, so she can at least get herself a job and sort her life out?

She has been attending Headspace (mental health) for 2 years for help with her bipolar and was starting to cope quite well. She needed money to pay for a car accident she had, the excess, even though I said I would pay it and she could pay me back, she didn't want to put that burden on me.

Can you give me any help please? She is only seeing the Legal Aid lawyer on the day she goes to court and thought we would like some help before then.


Hi Heavens,

Under the NSW Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, Courts can make a finding of guilt against someone, but not record a conviction. THis is sometimes referred to as a section 10 dismissal. The court may also decide to impose a good behaviour bond or require the accused to attend an intervention program of some description. The advantage of a section 10 dismissal is that the accused is not legally required to disclose personal information regarding the dismissed conviction to an employer.

When deciding whether or not they will allow a section 10 dismissal - a court will consider:
  1. Accused's age, previous criminal record, character, health and their mental condition.
  2. Whether the offence is trivial
  3. Any extenuating circumstances, and
  4. Other matters the Court thinks are relevant.


Well-Known Member
6 May 2015
Duty Solicitor will help her on the day.

Be careful about admitting to greater penalty than charged. Amounts of drugs matter as does the difference between possession and supply.

If the Magistrate asks if your daughter wants to do Merit they are not asking and the only answer is yes.

Do I need a Lawyer

Well-Known Member
21 January 2015
Hi there,

Yes the duty solicitor will help her on the day but it is important to understand how the supply charge is founded. That is, was she caught actually supplying drugs or having the drugs in her possession for the purpose of supply (deemed supply).

It is important in your daughter's case that entering a plea of guilty is not rushed and that she obtains full advice before entering any plea.