Drug Supply Charges

The supply of prohibited drugs is an offence under Section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

The penalties for this type of offence can be very severe, as this is an offence that is taken very seriously by the courts.

The definition of supply under the Act is very broad. The typical scenario is where a drug dealer sells a quantity of drugs to another person. However, even where money does not change hands, and a prohibited substance is simply given from one person to another, that constitutes supply under the Act. Further, even an agreement or offer to supply may lead to prosecution.

Types of Drugs

The list of prohibited drugs is very long. It is set out in Schedule 1 of the Act, and includes:

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


The maximum penalty for this type of offence depends on the type and quantity of substance being supplied, and ranges from a fine of $220,000 or 10 years imprisonment, to $550,000 or life imprisonment.

Where a person is found to be in possession of a traffickable quantity of prohibited drugs, they may be charged with supply of prohibited drugs. This is because, under s29, they are deemed to have the drug in their possession for the purposes of supply. The quantities that make up the various types of charges (i.e. small, traffickable, indictable, commercial) are set out in Schedule 1 of the act.

A successful prosecution for supply 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


Section 35A of the Act sets out a specific defence where the substance is possessed for the purpose of disposal, or where it cannot be readily extracted from another substance. Further, there are some exceptions under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, for those licensed or authorised to supply certain drugs. Those acting under special authorisation from the Director General of the Department of Health, or from the Commissioner of Police, can also not be held liable for a charge of supply.

Other defences may include duress, necessity or intoxication.

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).

Supply of Drug Charges

There are various other supply related offences, including:

  • Aiding and Abetting (etc) the Commission of an Offence in New South Wales
  • Aiding and Abetting (etc) the Commission of an Offence outside New South Wales
  • Supply of Prohibited Drugs
  • Supply of Prohibited Drugs to Minors (under 16 years of age)
  • Offence of Supplying Prohibited Drugs on an Ongoing Basis
  • Restriction on Wholesale Supply of Certain Substances
  • Prohibition on Wholesale Supply of Certain Substances for Therapeutic Use
  • Conspiring to Commit and Aiding etc Commission of Offence Outside New South Wales
  • Traffickable Quantity- Possession Taken to be for Supply

What Can North Shore Criminal Law Do For You?

If you have been charged with a supply related offence, our experienced criminal lawyers can advise you on how to proceed. We can develop a strategy for you, negotiate with police and represent you in court.

We regularly advocate on behalf of clients with similar legal issues, meaning we can use our expertise to help you achieve a good outcome.

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