'Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence' is an offence contrary to s 71AC of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (the Act).
This charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment.
If a person trafficks or attempts to traffick in a drug of dependence at a school or in a public place within 500 metres of a school, the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment.
The range of behaviour covered by a trafficking charge can be quite wide and so, inevitably, will be the sentencing range open to a magistrate or judge.
Elements of the Offence
To 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.
Defences to this charge can be:
- Factual disputes
- Honest and reasonable mistake
- Wrongful identification
- Lack of intent
- Mental impairment
Case studies related to the charge of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence:
- Drug Trafficking and Possession of Drug of Dependence and Controlled Weapon
- Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession – Diversion
- Pleading Guilty to Drug and Firearm Charges
- Drug Trafficking and Breach CCO
- Summary Jurisdiction Application – Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence and Other Charges
You may also visit this page to view sentencing decisions by Victorian County Courts for the offence of Trafficking in a Drug of Dependence.
You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.