Dealing With Drug Charges In Australia: What The Prosecution Must Prove

Law Blog

Recent studies have suggested that Australia has one of the world's most serious drug problems. As a result, penalties for selling or trafficking of a controlled drug can be quite serious. For example, selling or trafficking of even 1 gram of heroin, cocaine or any amphetamines can result in $5,500 and/or 2 years in jail if the conviction is dealt with in local courts or $220,000 and/or 15 years in jail if the conviction is dealt with in district courts. If you have been charged with selling, trafficking or possession, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Here's what they need to prove:

The Three Elements Involved With Selling/Trafficking Charges

The prosecutors and the police must prove one of the following:

  • You sold the drug; or
  • You were in possession of the drug with the intention of either selling or trafficking it; or
  • You took part in the process of the sale regardless of how minor your role may have been.

To prove their point, the drugs must have either already been sold or in the process of being sold when you were caught. Your criminal solicitor will need to review the case to determine whether the correct chain of command was followed, and whether the police have a reasonable amount of evidence to claim that you were involved in the process or that you had the intention of selling the controlled drugs.

The Two Elements Involved With Possession Charges

If the charges for selling or trafficking the controlled drugs do not stick, you may be charged with possession instead. Possession charges are just as serious. There are two elements that the prosecutors and police must prove in order to convict you with the possession of controlled drugs. Both of these two elements must be proven for a conviction. They include:

  • Being in physical control of the controlled drug; and,
  • Having the knowledge of what the drug is.

To prove the second element, the prosecutors and police must be able to prove that you were aware of the type of drugs that you were carrying.


As the burden of proof is on the prosecutors and the police, there are many possible defenses that can be brought up in court, such as being under duress, having a lack of intention to sell or traffic the controlled drugs, not actually being in possession of the drugs during the sale and not being aware of the identification of the drugs being carried. Speak with a criminal solicitor like David Allchin immediately to determine what course of action is best for your situation.


19 May 2015

Break In: Everyday Legal Matters You Should Know About

My name is Jeanette Kennan. I have been a high school legal studies teacher for many years. As such, I am fascinated by legal cases I come across in the media. Family and friends often consult me about minor matters related to the law and although no expert, I can often point them in the right direction. It occurred to me that there may be other people out there who are not aware of basic legal issues. After all, you probably don't think about legal matters related to death, accidents or crimes until you find yourself in a crisis situation. This blog is designed to give you some introductory information about a range of legal topics. Hopefully, it will help you to be prepared and informed should a legal concern arise. I really appreciate you breaking in to my humble little site. Please enjoy.