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Criminal Law » Drug Offences » Ongoing Supply

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Ongoing Supply

The supply of prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis in an offence under section 25A of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.

The offence involves the supply of a prohibited drug other than cannabis for financial or material reward and must involve at least three separate occasions of supply during the period of thirty days.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $385,000. This offence must be dealt with in the District Court.

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What the prosecution must prove

To be found guilty of this offence, the Prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the accused person supplied a prohibited drug (other than cannabis) on three or more separate occasions during any period of thirty days; and
  2. That each supply was for financial or material reward.

“Supply” is broadly defined by the act to include agreeing or offering to supply, keeping or having in possession for supply and receiving for supply, among other actions (s 3 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985).

It is not necessary for the accused person to supply the same prohibited drug on each occasion (s 25A(2) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985).

Defences

The section does not make it unlawful to supply a prohibited drug if the accused person is licensed or authorised under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 or otherwise authorised by the Department of Health to supply the drug for the purpose of scientific research or study.

It is a defence if the Prosecution cannot prove at least three separate occasions of supply for financial or material reward, however, the accused person can still be found guilty of supply for the individual offences (s 25A(4) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985).

Standard criminal defences such as duress also apply.

Will I go to jail?

Upon conviction for this offence, an offender can be imprisoned for up to twenty years. However, the maximum penalty is reserved for the most serious offender. This is usually someone who has a history of criminal behaviour.

For the full range of penalties that can be imposed for this offence, see our Sentencing Options page.