Being charged with producing a dangerous drug is a serious charge under Queensland law and requires expert legal representation.
What is drug production?
The legal definition of drug production in Queensland is quite simple, Section 8 of the Drugs Misuse Act states that “ A person who unlawfully produces a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime”
The legislation also goes on to define produce as:
- prepare, manufacture, cultivate, package or produce
- offering to do any act specified in the line above
- doing or offering to do any act preparatory to, in furtherance of, or for the purpose of, any act specified in the legislation
As you can see you don’t actually have to produce drugs to be charged with the offence, you could for example be charged by offering to help someone produce drugs or offering to buy supplies or equipment for drug production. The courts have also found offering to fund the production of a drug is enough to be charged.
What does the prosecutor have to prove?
To be found guilty of producing a dangerous drug the prosecutor would need to prove that;
- you did or offered to help produce a dangerous drug
- that the production was not authorised, justified or excused by law
What defences are available?
Certain defences that are available for other offences don’t apply to production of drugs. In some cases it will be an defence if you knew the substance produced wasn’t a dangerous drug however the mere step of preparing to produce a dangerous drug is enough to be found guilty.
In certain circumstances a defence of mistake might be available. For example you might have been asked to obtain materials or chemicals and that you had no idea and no reasonable belief those products would be used to produce a dangerous drug.
It will take an experienced criminal lawyer to look at the facts and advise if any defences are available.
What drugs are illegal to produce?
The Drugs Misuse Act defines a dangerous drug to be;
- drugs specified in Schedule 1 or 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation
- a derivative or analogue of a Schedule 1 or 2 Drug
- a thing that has, or is intended to have, a pharmacological effect of a schedule 1 or 2 drug
Schedule 1 lists the most serious drugs, including;
- Certain Steroids
Schedule 2 lists the drugs considered by the Queensland Government as less serious than schedule 1 drugs. Drugs listed in Schedule 2 include:
- Magic mushrooms
Can the charge be reduced?
Case conferencing (negotiations) with the prosecutor should always take place to try and either reduce the charge or reduce the seriousness of the allegations. We have an article on Negotiating with a Prosecutor in Queensland
What Court will the charge be heard in?
If the drug is a schedule 2 drug and under the limits set in schedule 3 then the Magistrates Court will determine the matter. For example the limit for producing cannabis is 500 grams or 100 plants. If it is a schedule 2 drug over the schedule 3 limit or a schedule 1 drug then either the District Court or Supreme Court will need to finalize the matter.
What are the penalties for drug production?
The maximum penalty for producing a dangerous drug is 25 years’ imprisonment if the drug is on the schedule 1 list, while the maximum penalty for Schedule 2 drug is 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties apply if the amount of drugs produced are above the schedule 3 limits.
What can be done to reduce the penalty?
Negotiations with the prosecutor to try and reduce the charge would be the most important thing.
The actual penalty depends on a number of factors including;
- The drugs involved
- The amount of drugs produced
- The sophistication of the production setup
- The period the production occurred over
- The offenders age
- The offenders circumstances
- The offenders previous criminal history, if any
Recording of a conviction
If the court imposes a prison sentence, even if it is wholly suspended, the court must record a conviction.
The police want to talk to me about an allegation of producing drugs, what do I do?
Do not talk to police without getting immediate advice from an experienced criminal lawyer. You have the right not to give a statement to police and in almost all circumstances this is the best thing to do. We have an article on the right to silence in Queensland
Engaging Clarity Law to act for you
Engaging us gives you the best chance at obtaining the lowest penalty. We are one of the leading criminal law firms in South East Queensland. We appear every week in the courts with people charged with drug offences, it is this experience that allows us to get the best result for clients. Other law firms simply don’t have the experience that we do and don’t know the judges like we do. Just some of the benefits of us acting for you include;
- we know the judges and what they want to hear to give you the best outcome
- we have good relationships with the police prosecutors and the DPP
- we are there to help you through the process and make everything as stress free as possible, in most cases you will not have to say anything in court
- engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously
- you will be fully informed of what is to happen in court and what this means for you after court
- unlike the police or the Judge, we are there to look after you, your privacy and your interests
If you are charged with any drug offence we can assist you.
What courts do you appear in?
We appear in every court in South East Queensland from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and up to the Sunshine Coast. Just some of the courts we appear in for drug offences are;
For a full list of Courts we appear in click here.
What do you charge?
We charge a flat upfront fee for our services that means no hidden charges or unexpected bills.
How do I get in touch with Clarity Law?
If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;
- Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
- Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
Remember contacting us is obligation free, we can give you some initial advice, provide a quote for work that has to be done next and we will leave you to make up your own decision on the best law firm for you.
Other articles that may be of interest