Have you been charged with Possession of a Drug of Dependence?
If so, there are some questions you need to consider. The answers could help you challenge the charge of Possession of a Drug of Dependence.
Were you in possession (i.e. extending past actual, physical control of the drug of dependence)? Have you been charged with possession with intent to traffic? What quantity of the alleged drug of dependence were you alleged to have been in possession of?
Pleading guilty to Possession of a Drug of Dependence can carry large penalties in some circumstances. You should consult a specialist drug offences criminal solicitor to help you with your matter.
Please read below for more information in relation to this charge.
Section 73 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.
The prosecution must prove:
That the substance in question was a drug of dependence;
That the defendant possessed that substance.
The maximum penalty
Level 6 imprisonment being a term of 5 years, or 400 penalty units, or both. If possession is found to be for purposes of trafficking however, the maximum penalty is much greater and increases with the quantity of drug in question.
Where will my case be heard?
Possession of a Drug of Dependence is nearly always heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
What to do next?
Possession of a Drug of Dependence can vary in seriousness from possession for personal use, to possession for trafficking in large commercial quantities.
It is critical to the outcome of your matter that you make time to see an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
S73 Possession of a Drug of Dependence
- A person who without being authorized by or licensed under this Act or the regulations or the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 or the regulations under that Act to do so has or attempts to have in his possession a drug of dependence is guilty of an indictable offence and liable—
(a) where the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that—
(i) the offence was committed in relation to a quantity of cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol that is not more than the small quantity applicable to cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol;
(ii) the offence was not committed for any purpose related to trafficking in cannabis or tetrahydrocannabinol— to a penalty of not more than 5 penalty units;
(b) subject to paragraph (a), where the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the offence was not committed by the person for any purpose relating to trafficking in that drug of dependence—to a penalty of not more than 30 penalty units or to level 8 imprisonment (1 year maximum) or to both that penalty and imprisonment; or
(c) in any other case—to a penalty of not more than 400 penalty units or to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum) or to both that penalty and imprisonment.
Where a person has in his possession, without being authorised by or licensed under this Act or the regulations or the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 or the regulations under that Act to do so, a drug of dependence in a quantity that is not less than the traffickable quantity applicable to that drug of dependence, the possession of that drug of dependence in that quantity is prima facie evidence of trafficking by that person in that drug of dependence.