Supplying dangerous drugs is one of the most serious offences in the Drugs Misuse Act (Qld). The offence is contained in section 6 of that Act, and refers to:
- giving, distributing, selling or supplying; and/or
- offering to do any of the above; and/or
- acts preparatory to or in furtherance of any of the acts referred to above.
Supplying may be at the level of personal use, or it may be for a commercial purpose. The categorisation of the offence as commercial or not is one of the key factors that will impact upon penalty.
Supplying a Schedule 1 dangerous drug may attract a maximum penalty of up to 25 years imprisonment. It is not unusual for sentences of imprisonment to be imposed where the offending has a commercial element.
Other factors that affect penalty include:-
- whether it is a Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 Dangerous Drug;
- whether a dangerous drug was in fact supplied, or merely anticipated;
- personal circumstances including age, employment, family circumstances and mental health;
- remorse and cooperation with the administration of justice;
- any previous criminal history;
- the period over which the offending occurred; and
- the reason for the offending.
You may also receive a recorded conviction. Whether or not a conviction is recorded depends on the level of the offending and whether there is any previous criminal history.
There are numerous defences to the charge of supplying dangerous drugs. These include:-
- the alleged conduct does not fall within the definition of supply;
- the supply was not of a "dangerous drug";
- duress; and
- mistake of fact.
Whether or not a particular defence applies in your case will depend on the facts of your case and the prosecution evidence.
We also strongly recommend that you seek legal advice if you are charged with supplying dangerous drugs. Early intervention and legal advice can hugely affect the outcome.
You can learn more about Queensland Drug Offences here.