June 24, 2013

Drug Offence Case Studies

sydney police searching a car

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors are expert drug lawyers. We have represented clients across a large variety of drug related offences including possession, supply, importation and conspiracy to import. We have assisted clients in Local Court trials, District Court jury trials, sentencing hearings and appeals.

Here are a number of successful cases where O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors have secured a favourable result for our clients.

Possession of Prohibited Drug

PK – Client receives successful outcome for drug charge after negotiation

PK was charged with supply of prohibited drug. We entered pleas of Not Guilty to the supply charge in court which was ultimately dismissed. Instead, O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors successfully negotiated for the lesser charge of Possession of Prohibited Drug. Ultimately, we sought a non-custodial sentence of a Community Corrections Order for the duration of 12 months for PK.

Key terms: supply prohibited drug – possess prohibited drugs – Community Corrections Order – non-custodial sentence

AV – Client receives successful outcome for charge of drug possession

AV was charged with possession and use of prohibited drugs including the possession of a weapon. We were instructed to enter pleas of guilty to all charges. We were ultimately successful in receiving a Community Correction Order for a period of 12 months for our client, an ideal outcome based on the penalties that could have been applied.

Key terms: possession of prohibited drugs – criminal possession of weapon – guilty plea – Community Correction Order

DPP v WB: Client receives best possible outcome for possession of prohibited drugs

WB’s home was searched by police during a search warrant procedure and located prohibited items. Aside from this, WB was charged with a supply of prohibited drugs which carries a 15-year maximum sentence. Pleading guilty, WB received the best possible outcome with the substantial supply of drugs. WB was sentenced to 24 months of an Intensive Correction Order to be served in the community.

Key terms: supply prohibited drug – possess prohibited drug – deal with proceeds of crime – Intensive Corrections Order

CN – No conviction recorded for client charged with drug possession at music festival

CN was charged with possession of two prohibited drugs at the Lost Paradise Festival. We represented CN who entered a plea of guilty for the two matters. With a successful outcome, CN was sentenced to a Community Release Order without conviction for a period of six months.

Key terms: possession of a prohibited drug – music festival – Lost Paradise Festival – Community Release Order – no conviction

SS – No conviction recorded for client charged with drug possession at music festival

SS was charged with possession of a prohibited drug at a music festival. We represented SS who entered a plea of guilty for possession of a drug. SS received the best possible outcome of a 12-month conditional release order, without conviction, to be of good behaviour.

Key terms: possession of a prohibited drug – music festival – Conditional Release Order – no conviction – good behaviour bond

BI – No conviction recorded for client charged with drug possession

BI was charged with possession of a prohibited drug within the bathroom area of Coogee Pavilion Hotel. BI received the best possible outcome of a 12-month conditional release order, without conviction, to be of good behaviour.

Key terms: possession of a prohibited drug – Conditional Release Order – no conviction – good behaviour bond

WS – No conviction recorded for client charged with DUI

WS was charged with driving under the influence of a prohibited drug. We successfully determined the police had filed the charge one day after the six month time limit. The charge was marked as having ‘No Jurisdiction’ and the proceedings were dismissed by court.

Key terms: driving under influence of a prohibited drug – time limit for commencement of summary proceedings – presence of certain drugs (other than alcohol) in oral fluid, blood, or urine – no conviction

YPNo conviction recorded for young person charged with drug possession

A young client was charged with possession of cocaine. We successfully represented him in his sentencing hearing where the magistrate recorded no conviction on the condition that he enter into a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – young person – sentencing hearing – no conviction – good behaviour bond

AW No conviction recorded for drug possession at music festival

A young client was found with a prohibited drug at a music festival. He pleaded guilty to possessing a prohibited drug. Our drug specialist lawyers assisted AW in the preparation of his sentencing case including gathering character references. The outcome was a no conviction recorded on the condition that AW enter into a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – guilty plea – sentencing hearing – preparation of character references – no conviction

MR – Charges dismissed by way of mental health provision

Our client was attending a party where he took some MDMA caps. He was stopped by police, searched and then charged with the possession of a prohibited drug. We assisted MR with an application to dismiss the proceedings under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act arguing that MR suffered from depression which caused him to commit the offence.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – mental health provisions – proceedings dismissed

XEApplication for matter to be dealt with under mental health provisions

XE was charged with possession of cannabis after police found some on his premises. Our defence lawyers made an application for the matter to be dealt with under the mental health provisions. Our submissions included a psychiatric report and statements from family members regarding XE’s struggle with mental illness. The magistrate granted the application and the matter was discharged.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug, mental health provisions, proceedings dismissed

MHA – Defence lawyers successfully get charges dismissed after arguing that police acted outside their lawful powers

MHA’s car was parked outside The Star when police officers pulled up near his car and conducted a stop and check believing that they had the power to do so. Police searched his vehicle and found a small amount of drugs. He was arrested and charged with possession of a prohibited drug. Our drug lawyers argued that the police acted outside their lawful powers when they stopped and searched MHA given that parking outside the Star was not a reasonable grounds for a search. These arguments were successful which meant that the evidence against MHA had been unlawfully obtained. The charges against our client were dismissed.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug, Section 10(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 – stop and check direction, Section 169A(2) Road Transport Act 2013 – power to search, Section 21 Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 – unlawful search – charges dismissed.

CSH No conviction recorded after we assist client with sentencing hearing

CSH was found with a small quantity of MDMA whilst attending a music festival. He pleaded guilty to the charge of possession a prohibited drug. We assisted CSH with his sentencing hearing where we made submissions that it was only a small quantity, his early admission and guilty plea. No conviction was recorded on the condition that CSH complete a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug, Section 10(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985, non-conviction order, Section 10(1)(b) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999

UDJ Client’s sentence reduced following successful sentencing appeal

Our client was charged with possession of cocaine after police searched him at a nightclub. He cooperated with police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. Despite this, he was fined $500 and his conviction was recorded. We helped UDJ appeal the sentence on the grounds of severity. Our submissions resulted in a downgrade of UDJ’s sentence to a non-conviction order, conditional on the successful completion of a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug, Section 10(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 – severity appeal – submissions on remorse and rehabilitation – non-conviction order – conditional on good behaviour bond

BOIAssistance with character references for sentencing hearing

BOI was identified by a drug detection dog as carrying cocaine in her bra. She was charged with possession of a prohibited drug. We assisted BOI in her sentencing hearing where we provided several character references to the judge. BOI was given a non-conviction order conditional on the successful completion of a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug, Section 10(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 – persuasive character references – non-conviction order – good behaviour bond

SXMNon-conviction order given to a client pursuing a teaching career

A sniffer dog detected a MDMA pill on SXM whilst she was attending a music festival on the Central Coast of NSW. SXM was arrested on a charge of possessing prohibited drugs. At the time of arrest SXM was in her final year of a teaching degree and a criminal conviction would have jeopardised her efforts in pursuing a teaching career. She pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing prohibited drugs, and the matter proceeded to sentencing. We assisted SXM in collecting references which the magistrate considered when making an order for no conviction. This meant that the offence did not affect her prospects of being a teacher.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – MDMA table at music festival – teaching career jeopardised – plea of guilty – non-conviction order

MJA – Non-conviction order given to inmate charged with possession of a prohibited drug

MJA was an inmate at a NSW prison. Following a family visit, MJA was searched by Corrective Services who found a packet inside his underpants that contained tobacco and cannabis. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of possession of a prohibited drug, claiming that he was taking care of the package of tobacco for a friend, and was unaware that the package also contained marijuana. MJA was found to be guilty but was sentenced to a non-conviction order based on the legal argument that the offence of possession required the prosecution to prove that MJA had actual knowledge or belief that he was holding a prohibited drug.

Key words: prison inmate – marijuana – possess prohibited drug – found guilty – non-conviction order

TM – No conviction recorded after client detected by drug dog

TM was approached at a bar by police with a drug detection dog. He was found with a bag of cocaine and subsequently detained and questioned by police. TM was worried about the charge because a conviction would jeopardise his career as a teacher. After pleading guilty, we helped TM gain a non-conviction order during his sentencing hearing.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – working with children check – teaching career in jeopardy – good behaviour bond

KMDrug possession arrest and charge

KM was charged with drug possession, and a conviction would affect his career as a medical practitioner. After pleading guilty, we assisted KM in preparing for his sentencing hearing. The charges were dismissed with no conviction recorded.

Key terms: drug possession – dismissal of charges – good behaviour bond

BHPossess prohibited drugs charges

BH was found with possession of methylamphetamine after being searched as a result of a drug dog operation. BH pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited drug. We helped BH with his sentencing hearing with a focus on the fact that there were no drug matters on BH’s criminal record. He was convicted but given no further penalty.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – criminal record – plea of guilty

EGDrug possession charges withdrawn and dismissed

Our client was charged with possessing a prohibited drug after police alleged that she was in possession of two ecstasy tablets when searched by police. EG pleaded not guilty, and we represented her in her trial at Fairfield Local Court. We successfully had the charges withdrawn and dismissed against her.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – plea of not guilty – charges dismissed

JD – Successful appeal to the District Court resulted in conviction being quashed

JD appealed to the District Court having been found guilty and convicted of an offence of possessing a prohibited drug. We represented JD in his appeal to the District court where we presented evidence of his good character in the circumstances surrounding the offence. The District Court quashed the fines and conviction recorded in the Local Court and dismissed the charge.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – charges dismissed without conviction

MT No conviction recorded for client

During a police patrol our client was approached by a drug detection dog. He was found with the drug Ketamine. He pleaded guilty to being in possession of a prohibited drug. During his sentencing hearing, the Magistrate took into consideration the fact that it was a small quantity of prohibited drug, he was of good character and had no prior convictions. Based on these factors, the Magistrate imposed a no conviction order and placed him on a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – drug detection dog – public search – 2 year good behaviour bond 

MBH No conviction recorded for client found with possession of prohibited drug

Police were patrolling the public entrance of a Mardi Gras after party when one of the drug detection dogs brought MBH to police attention. He declared to the police that he had pills in his trousers. The police arrested MBH. At his sentencing hearing, the court considered the fact that he had no prior criminal history, and ordered that no conviction be recorded against him.

Key terms: drug detection – possess prohibited drug – Mardi Gras – MDMA – ecstasy 

DKYoung client found with possession prohibited drug at dance club

DK was found with possession of MDMA at a dance club. The weight of the MDMA was of a traffickable quantity. We represented DK in his sentencing hearing where we set out his background, good character, his clean criminal record, and his strong community ties. The Local Magistrate dismissed the charge without recording a conviction on the condition that he enter into a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: possess prohibited drug – drug detection dog – plea of guilty – good behaviour bond 

PS – No conviction recorded for client charged with possession and supply charges

PS was charged with one count of supply of a prohibited drug, and one charge of possession of a prohibited drug. After entering a plea of guilty, we represented PS in his sentencing hearing. We presented strong character evidence, proven attempts at rehabilitation, and the impact on his career. PS received a discharge without record of conviction and a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: drug supply – possess prohibited drug – sentencing hearing – no conviction recorded

Supply of Prohibited Drug

BG – No conviction recorded for client charged with drug offences

BG was charged with supply and possession of prohibited drug. BG has been diagnosed with number of health issues as a result of a tumour predisposition syndrome. We acted for BG who pled guilty for the two charges. The charge for supply was withdrawn by police after successful representation. The charge for possession resulted in an 18-month conditional release order without conviction for BG.

Key terms: supply prohibited drug – possession of prohibited drug – charge withdrawn – 18-month conditional release order – without conviction

LH – Sentencing discount for early guilty plea of supplying drugs on ongoing basis 

LH was sentenced for two counts of supplying drugs on an ongoing basis. LH was on parole at the time of committing the offence. We represented LH who entered a plea of guilty for the two counts. His Honour did not consider it appropriate to commence the sentence from the time LH was arrested, and a 25% discount to sentencing was applied for early guilty plea.

Key terms: supply prohibited drugs on ongoing basis – supply prohibited drugs – early of plea of guilty – sentencing discount

MWGClient caught in undercover police operation, pleads guilty, and sentenced to a good behaviour bond and fine

MWG  was approached by an undercover policeman who befriended him and asked him for help in obtaining drugs. He took money from the undercover cop and used to buy cocaine for him. MWG was arrested and charged with supplying a prohibited drug. He pleaded guilty to the charge with the Local Court recording a conviction against him, sentencing him to a good behaviour bond and a fine.

Key terms:  supply prohibited drug – undercover police operation – guilty plea – good behaviour bond

BCPlea negotiation in respect of drug supply charges

Four charges laid against BC in respect of drug supply charges. We assisted BC to enter into a plea negotiation where he pleaded guilty to two of the charges in return for the prosecution discontinuing the other two charges. He was sentenced to a 2 year good behaviour bond for the two charges.

Key terms: over 1000 MDMA pills – supply prohibited drug – plea negotiation – good behaviour bond 

MM – Supply of prohibited drug and dealing with proceeds of crime

MM was pulled over by police who then proceeded to search MM’s vehicle. The police found 500 grams of cannabis and several hundred dollars in MM’s possession, and subsequently charged him with supply on prohibited drug. He was also charged with dealing with proceeds of crime on the basis that the police suspected that the money in his possession were proceeds of sale of drugs. He pleaded guilty to the charges. We helped MM present his sentencing case where we emphasised his age, lack of prior convictions, and a psychological report. No conviction was recorded and MM was placed on a good behaviour bond.

Key terms: supply prohibited drug – dealing with proceeds of crime – plea of guilty 

Drug Importation Charges

TBSentencing hearing for drug importation offence

TB was charged with the offence of drug importation, which has a maximum penalty of 5 years and/or a fine of $170,000. TB entered a plea of guilty to the charge early in the process. We represented TB in her sentencing hearing and managed to get a sentence of two years and three months with a good behaviour bond in place on expiry of the sentence.

Key terms: drug importation – pseudoephedrine

XX – Client acquitted of conspiracy to import and possess prohibited drug charge after 10 week jury trial

XX was charged by Australian Federal Police in connection with a conspiracy to import and possess 35kg of cocaine. The prosecution alleged that XX had knowledge of the ocntents of the drugs inside a shipping container that was imported by a drug syndicate form Mexico. However, XX maintained that he had no such knowledge, and was caught up in the illegal activities of his clients. We represented XX in his 10 week jury trial where we called on a large number of witnesses, and assisted XX in giving evidence in his own defence. The District Court jury acquitted XX of the conspiracy charge.

Key terms: import commercial quantity of cocaine – 10 week jury trial – verdict of not guilty