Of course, the most serious of the drug offences in both States is those involving some commercial aspect to the offence, like trafficking for example. But despite the Parliament in both States setting extremely high penalties for trafficking, the courts have shown (particularly recently in New South Wales) that being convicted of it doesn’t inevitably lead to imprisonment, provided the correct pre-sentence preparation has occurred.
Evidence which touches upon other matters found in the sentencing law of both States can, if presented persuasively, then lead a court to impose a penalty which doesn’t involve full time imprisonment. Concepts like the prospects of re-offending, (the degree to which the offending is responsible for the offending), and the scope of rehabilitation can also assist in producing non-custodial outcomes now.
An example of that is the case of The Queen v Mason Fletcher in which our client’s extensive rehabilitation and low assessment of re-offending produced a suspended sentence, even though the trafficking period of 7 months was a long one, and it involved the distribution of MDMA – which is a schedule 1 drug (the most serious sort).
Another is the case of The Queen v Jake John McManus where despite our client trafficking in a schedule 1 drug and possessing a criminal history with 2 prior entries for drug related activity, and starting his trafficking whilst on probation, his “remarkable” rehabilitation resulted in him receiving a wholly suspended period of imprisonment.
What is also often overlooked is equating restrictive pre-sentence residential rehabilitation or bail conditions with actual imprisonment. In the New South Wales case of R v Stephen Gareth Hausfeld our firm convinced the sentencing court to apply a discount for the very restrictive bail conditions (which were like house arrest), and the court agreed that those conditions represented a type of quasi imprisonment.
These cases demonstrate that although the law relating to commercial drug charges carries harsh penalties, meticulous and targeted preparation can allow a client to avoid them.
Why Do I Need A Drug Lawyer?
Complex legal principles apply when such a consideration is being determined before a court. A person without experience with such matters will simply be unable to cope with those principles and how they apply to the circumstances of his or her case.