Supplying dangerous drugs is one of the most serious drug offences.

The offence includes:

  • giving, distributing, selling or supplying
  • offering to do any of the above
  • acts in preparation or furtherance of the acts above.


Supplying can be for personal use or a commercial purpose. 

Offences categorised as commercial usually result in greater penalties. It isn’t unusual for sentences of imprisonment to be imposed.

Supplying a Schedule 1 dangerous drug may attract a maximum penalty of up to 25 years of imprisonment.

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
  • 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 offence and your criminal history.


There are many defences to the charge of supplying dangerous drugs, including:

  • the alleged conduct does not fall within the definition of 'supply'
  • the supply was not of a ‘dangerous drug’
  • the offender acted under duress
  • there was a 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 strongly recommend you seek legal advice if you are charged with supplying dangerous drugs. Early intervention and legal advice can hugely affect the outcome.

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