SA Prosecutions onus to prove guilt but not for parts of a trafficking charge

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by xshellsx78, 24 March 2019.

  1. xshellsx78

    xshellsx78 Member

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    Hello all,
    I am hoping that somebody might be able to explain how this can be acceptable in our legal system..
    In SA (I am unsure about other states) when charged with trafficking drugs, the charge of ‘trafficking’ automatically states that you were selling/supplying an illegal drug. Different drugs have different amounts before the charge of possession changes to a trafficking charge. (I am not up to date with details but at last reasearch-) For example, 1.2 grams and over of meth/ice/speed is a charge of trafficking, under 1.2 grams is possession.
    The charge of possession does not automatically include that you were selling and/or supplying and so there must be evidence collected to prove sell/supply, such as money and/or scales and/or customers etc. without that evidence it can only be a charge of possession.
    With the trafficking charge there does not need to be any eveidence what so ever of intent to sell/supply. It is automatically included in the trafficking charge. If the accused is willing to plead guilty to the trafficking charge they must also plead guilty to intent to sell/supply. Even if they were not and were simply in possession of the substance. 1.2 grams is not a massive amount and it isn’t an absurd amount to be considered for personal use. If the accused pleads not guilty to trafficking and goes to trial the jury and court will hear the words that the accused is charged with trafficking in a illegal/controlled drug (whichever fancy words are used) with intent to sell and/or supply.
    Is this one of the only charges in our courts that actually goes against the way our judicial system is supposed to work and that is that it is up to the prosecution to prove guilt and not the accused to prove their innocent? Does it also go against the grain of innocent until proven guilty?

    I am aware that the possession or trafficking of drugs and really anything to do with drugs is a major national issue and that laws and penalties need to be in place if we as communities and as a nation are to have a chance at combating this epidemic. But surely this doesn’t mean that the Police and legal system can charge people with one thing (such as trafficking) but have that charge include other charges with no evidence and no possible way of accepting the one charge without HAVING to just accept the other charges attached.

    I don’t know law talk.. I have had my fair share of time in court rooms but it is a confusing place. I hope that I have made some sense in what I have written because it is difficult when I don’t really know proper terminology for this sort of thing.

    Thank you
     
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