Drug Manufacturing Charges

The manufacture and production of prohibited drugs is an offence under Section 24 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

Again this offence is fairly broad, encompassing those who ‘knowingly take part’ in the manufacture or production of a prohibited drug. The penalties are severe, and even more so where children are exposed in any way to the environment.

Types of Drugs

Schedule 1 of the Act sets out the many types of drugs that are prohibited in NSW. These include some of the more common types, such as:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Lysergic Acid (LSD)
  • Amphetamines (including Speed and Ice)
  • MDMA (Ecstacy)
  • Steroids


The maximum penalty for manufacturing prohibited drugs is $220,000 or 15 years imprisonment, or both. However the type and quantity of drugs does have an impact. The penalties for cannabis are less severe, of 10 years rather than 15 years. On the other hand, if the quantity of drugs manufactured amounts to a commercial quantity, this maximum increased to $385,000 or 20 years imprisonment (15 years for cannabis).

Exposure of a child to the production process will also lead to more severe penalties. Where the amount is not commercial, this will be $264,000 or 18 years imprisonment. Where the amount is not less than a commercial, this increases to $462,000 or 25 years imprisonment.

A successful prosecution for manufacture will often lead to a sentence of imprisonment. However, there are some alternatives available to the court, including:

  • Home detention
  • Intensive correction order
  • Community service order
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Fines
  • Section 10 dismissal


Defences include necessity and duress. Also, if it can be proved that a child exposed did not suffer any harm to their health, the more serious charge may not stand.

A section 35A defence may also be available here; if it can be shown that the substance could not have been readily extracted from another substance.

Going to Court

As this offence is serious in nature (an indictable offence), it is likely to be heard in a District or Supreme Court. However this will be dependent on the quantity of drug, as small quantities may be able to be dealt with summarily (in the local court).

Drug Manufacture Charges

There are various other manufacture related offences, including:

  • Sale, Supply and Display of Waterpipes and Ice Pipes
  • Possession of Instructions for Manufacture or Production of Prohibited Drugs
  • Manufacture and Production of Prohibited Drugs
  • Possession of Precursors and Certain Apparatus for Manufacture or Production of Prohibited Drugs
  • Conspiring to Commit and Aiding etc Commission of Offence Outside New South Wales
  • Importing and Exporting Border Controlled Precursors

What Can North Shore Criminal Law Do For You?

North Shore Criminal Law have a wealth of experience defending drug manufacture related charges. We can advise you on the best way to proceed with your case, and take you through the process step by step. If you are in custody, call us now and we can come to you.

The ramifications of being charged with a serious offence like manufacture of drugs are severe, so it is essential to get expert legal advice. We can also help you to apply for bail, adjournments, and, if necessary, to seek appeal.

Call North Shore Criminal Law on (02) 9955 2298 or our 24 hour Emergency Service on 0400 44 64 24.