Trafficking and possession of drug of dependence charges, resulting in a CCO

This is a case study on drug offences and charges related to proceeds of crime. The accused was a young man in his early twenties who had an extremely limited criminal history. He had embarked upon a prolonged period of rehabilitation of more than 6 months and had provided drug screens indicating that he had ceased drug use.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with 3 counts of trafficking a drug of dependence as well as possessing steroids, cannabis, methylamphetamine, and various alleged proceeds of crime.

A co-accused had also pleaded guilty and received a Community Corrections Order. Parity with a co-accused was an important feature of the case, and but for the result of the other defendant, the task of securing a non-custodial sentence would have been considerably harder.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court.

Through a process of case conferences, this case was listed for a contest mention 9 months after the initial filing of the charges.

At our first conference a plan was devised to maximise the prospects of avoiding immediate jail. This include an immediate referral for drug counselling. As discussions with the prosecution continued concerning various evidentiary aspects of their case, our client continued to receive counselling and to collate clean drug screens.

At the time of his final hearing he had obtained an impressive history of clean drug screens which was then used in support of the submission that he had ceased drug use. It was submitted that our client had developed an addiction to amphetamine at the time of the offence, but had worked hard to reform himself.

A co-accused had finalised his case three months prior, and although he pleaded guilty to fewer charges, he also received a Community Corrections Order. We were thus able to argue parity of sentence in regard to our client’s case.

What was the result?
For all offences including 3 charges of Trafficking a drug of dependence, our client was convicted and received a 12 month community corrections, and to undertake counselling for drug use, and mental health as directed by Community Corrections.

Trafficking a drug of dependence is a serious offence and ordinarily a person can expect to receive a term of imprisonment. Were it not for our client’s hard work at reforming himself, and the fact that a co-accused received a non-custodial outcome, the prospect of avoiding jail would have been significantly harder.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 25/02/2013