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Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

Welcome to the WA Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent) article page. Everything you need to know about Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent) according to WA Law.

What the Law states according to WA Law for Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

According to WA Law for the charge of Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent),

A person who:

(a) with intent to sell or supply it to another, has in his possession;
(b) manufactures or prepares; and
(c) sells or supplies, or offers to sell or supply, to another,
a prohibited drug commits a crime (except where authorised
under the Poisons Act 1964).

A “prohibited drug” is a drug of addiction, a specified drug, or any drug listed in Schedule I of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Under Section 11 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, if a person is caught with a specified amount of prohibited drugs in their possession, that person is deemed to have the drugs in their possession with the intent to sell or supply. These amounts are listed in Schedule V of the Misuse of Drugs Act. For example:

  1. Heroin: 2gm
  2. Amphetamine: 2gm
  3. Cannabis: 100gm
  4. Cocaine: 2gm
  5. Methylamphetamine: 2gm

If a person is found with more than the above amounts, they are presumed to have intent to sell or supply. If this is the case the onus shifts and the accused must prove that they did not have intent to sell or supply.

For a full list of prohibited drugs and the amounts required to deem intent click here.

If the amount of drugs found is less than the specified amount in Schedule III of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 the matter is able to be dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court, otherwise it must be tried on indictment in the District Court. Amounts which allow a matter to be heard in the Magistrates Court include:

  1. Amphetamine: 4gm
  2. Cannabis: 500gm
  3. Cocaine: 4gm
  4. Methylamphetamine: 4gm

The Maximum Penalty – Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

According to WA Law for the charge of Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent),

If a matter is able to be heard in the Magistrates Court, the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment up to 4 years, or both.

If the matter is heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $100,000 or imprisonment for up to 25 years or both.

If the matter is heard in the District Court and relates only to cannabis (not cannabis resin), the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $20,000 or imprisonment for up to 10 years or both.

What the Police must prove according to WA Law for Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

If the charge refers to an amount of drugs which is less than the presumption of intent to sell or supply the police must prove:

  1. That the accused had possession of drug;
  2. That the drugs in the accused’s possession were prohibited; and
  3. That the accused person had the intent to sell or supply those drugs or did sell or supply those drugs, or offered to sell or supply those drugs.

If the charge refers to an amount which deems the intent to sell or supply, the Police do not have to prove intent.If the accused is able to prove that there was no intent, the charge may be lowered to simple possession.

Possible Defences under WA Law – Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

(a)    Mistake of fact;
(b)    Lack of intent;
(c)    Complete lack of knowledge;
(d)    Duress;
(e)    Insanity;
(f)    Lawful authority; and
(g)   Emergency

In WA which court will hear the matter – Offences concerned with prohibited drugs generally (Possession with intent)

The matter may be able to be dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court; otherwise it must be tried on indictment in the District Court. In very serious cases it may be committed to the Supreme Court.

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