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Summary offences are those offences at the less serious end of the spectrum. These offences are dealt with by local courts, and don’t usually lead to terms of imprisonment. Normally, possession of small quantities of prohibited substances and the self-administration of drugs are types of offences that are dealt with summarily.
Indictable offences are more serious in nature, and are generally dealt with in the District or Supreme Court. Offences such as the supply and manufacture of prohibited drugs are likely to be dealt with as indictable offences. They will often carry a term of imprisonment, especially where it is not a first offence.
The penalties for many drug-related offences in NSW are dependent on the quantity of drug associated with the charge. There are six categories of quantity, set out in Schedule 1 of the act. The actual quantities vary for each substance. These are (in order of size/severity):
- Discrete dosage unit (generally a single dose)
- Small quantity
- Traffickable quantity
- Indictable quantity
- Commercial quantity
- Large commercial quantity
What Can North Shore Criminal Law Do For You?
If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, it is very important to seek expert legal advice. Some drug-related offences carry very heavy penalties, with can have very dire consequences on your life, especially where terms of imprisonment are involved.
Gaining the advice of a lawyer with much experience in drug-related offences is very important. North Shore Criminal Law can help you to determine the best way to argue your case, helping you through the legal process. We can:
- Visit you in custody, ensuring your rights are protected, and advising you on the best way to proceed
- Advise you whether you should take part in an interview with Police, or assert your right to silence
- Advise you about any defences that may be available to fight your drug related charge