Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence
Have you been accused of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence? You should get in contact with us to arrange a conference to speak with one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers. Our lawyers can give you confidential legal advice.
Police InterviewThe police will interview you about an allegation of Trafficking if they believe you are guilty. They will normally have gathered all the evidence they need to charge and prosecute you, but will not reveal what material they have gathered. The police hope to get admissions or information from you to help them prove you are guilty. It is worth noting that anything you tell the police during the interview can appear in the brief of evidence.
You must prioritise speaking with one of our lawyers before you speak with the police. You may want to ask:
- Should I answer their questions?
- Do I have to give them access to my mobile phone?
- Can I answer some questions and say ‘no comment’ to others?
You can also choose to have one of our lawyers attend the police interview with you. You may feel more comfortable having someone there on your side.
Pleading Not GuiltyYou can contest your charges if you deny that you Trafficked a Drug of Dependence. It is always best to contact us early so that one of our lawyers can work on a strategy for you. There will be disclosure material that must be requested which may demonstrate that the police have incorrectly charged you.
Our lawyers will analyse the brief of evidence and look for any flaws which can be highlighted in court. Our lawyers will also keep you informed about your case so that you know exactly what is happening.
Pleading GuiltyIf you decide to plea guilty to Trafficking a Drug of Dependence, our lawyers will advise you of the consequences so you are not caught by surprise. Our lawyers will also advise you of all the things you should do before your plea hearing to get the best possible outcome. These things include gathering character references and completing drug counselling.
Our lawyers have represented many people who pleaded guilty to Trafficking a Drug of Dependence. Our lawyers know what submissions work.
SentencingSentencing in the higher courts of VictoriaSentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria
Examples of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence
- You think you are being a good mate, and you bulk buy 20 pingers from your dealer to sell to your friends at an upcoming festival. You are caught entering the festival with 20 pills.
What is the legal definition of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence?Subject to subsection (2), a person who, without being authorized by or licensed under this Act or the regulations, the Access to Medicinal Cannabis Act 2016 or the regulations under that Act or the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 or the regulations under that Act to do so, trafficks or attempts to traffick in a drug of dependence is guilty of an indictable offence.
LegislationIt is a criminal offence to traffick in a drug of dependence based on section 71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.
Elements of the OffenceTo prove this offence the Prosecution must show that the accused intentionally trafficked or attempted to traffick in a drug of dependence.
The law surrounding this simple proposition can be very complex. As an example, a person can be found guilty of trafficking even though they did not know the substance being trafficked was a drug of dependence. It is also the sort of charge where a person who has brought an amount to share amongst their friends can be found guilty even when there was no intention to profit from the transaction.
Given the complexity of drug law you should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged.
“Can they prove you were trafficking?”
- Factual disputes
- Honest and reasonable mistake
- Wrongful identification
- Lack of intent
- Mental impairment
Questions in cases like this
- Is there evidence that you are trafficking, such as text messages or large amounts of cash?
- Can the police show that you were in possession of the drugs?
- Are the items actually drugs of dependence?
The maximum penalty for Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence (s71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981) is level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum).
Other important resources
- SACStat Higher Courts – Drugs, Poisons And Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic): s 71AC – trafficking in a non-commercial quantity of a drug of dependence
- VCC summaries – trafficking in a drug of dependence: Sentencing decisions from 1 January 2016 to 31 May 2018, arranged by severity of total effective sentence
- SAC Statistics – Drugs, Poisons And Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic): s 71AC – trafficking cannabis
- SAC Statistics – Drugs, Poisons And Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic): s 71AC – trafficking cocaine
- SAC Statistics – Drugs, Poisons And Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic): s 71AC – trafficking ecstasy