Withdrawing Trafficking Charges and Handling Stolen Goods

This is a case study on withdrawing Trafficking charges and Handling Stolen Goods.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was arrested after a search warrant was executed on his girlfriend’s house. The police found heroin, cannabis, and various items believed to be stolen such as multiple laptops, cash, and phones. The accused was then charged with Trafficking and Possession of Drugs of Dependence and Handling Stolen Goods. He admitted to sometimes ‘supplying’ his girlfriend with heroin in his record of interview.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The exact charges were:

After speaking with the client, we realised that the house where the offending took place belonged to the his girlfriend and not his. This meant that all the stolen items could not be linked to him – there was no ‘constructive possession’ of the items as the client did not own the house.

We conferenced the matter and the prosecution agreed to withdraw the charges relating to the stolen items. We also convinced them to withdraw the trafficking charges as there was no commercial element to the supplying. Our client was not ‘selling’ the heroin to his girlfriend and was instead weighing it for her to ensure she didn’t overdose.

Our client pleaded guilty to two charges of Possession of Drugs of Dependence. We made submissions about his personal background and highlighted the fact that his girlfriend had a drug addiction, and that he did not use heroin himself.

What was the result?
Despite having recent prior offences and having recently received large fines, the accused on this occasion received a $500.00 fine. This – and especially the fact that we went ahead to successfully withdrawing the Trafficking charges and Handling Stolen Goods – is an example of the important work that goes on before a lawyer enters the courtroom, as cases can be won during a case conference with a prosecutor.

Elements of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence:
  • The accused trafficks or attempts to traffick in a drug of dependence
  • The accused was not authorised or licensed to do so
Related case studies
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 22/08/2018