https://www.gotocourt.com.au/criminal-law/qld/trafficking-dangerous-drugs/

National Legal Hotline

1300 636 846

7am to midnight, 7 days

Call our lawyers now or,
have our lawyers call you

Trafficking Dangerous Drugs (Qld)

Updated on Nov 08, 2022 3 min read 556 views Copy Link

Michelle Makela

Published in Dec 04, 2019 Updated on Nov 08, 2022 3 min read 556 views

Trafficking Dangerous Drugs (Qld)


Under section 5 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986, any person who carries on the business of unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug in Queensland is guilty of a crime. The maximum penalty for this is 25 years imprisonment for a schedule 1 drug, and 20 years imprisonment for a schedule 2 drug. 

Schedule 1 drugs

Schedule 1 drugs are more dangerous drugs and possessing or trafficking them carries longer penalties.

Schedule 1 drugs include:

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine
  • Heroine
  • Lysergide (commonly known as LSD)
  • Methylamphetamine 
  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (commonly known as MDMA or Ecstasy)

Schedule 2 drugs

Schedule 2 drugs are the less dangerous illicit drugs.

These include: 

  • Cannabis 
  • Codeine 
  • Methadone 
  • Morphine 
  • Opium 
  • Oxycodone. 

What is trafficking?

Trafficking generally means selling a drug. However, in the case of R v Elhusseini [1988] 2 Qd R 42, it was held that trafficking also has a wider meaning of “knowingly engaging in the movement of drugs from source to the ultimate user”. 

To establish that a person is guilty of trafficking, it was held in the case of Martin v Osborne (1936) 55 CLR 376 that

‘it is necessary to show a regularity of drug dealing sufficient to establish that it occurred in the course of a business which might be regarded as trafficking.’

The carrying on of a business is much more than a few isolated transactions. Proof that a person was carrying on a business requires the prosecution to prove several transactions were done for gain over more than a brief interval. The prosecution must also prove that there was some commerciality to the offending. 

It must be noted that a person can still be charged with trafficking, even if they are not obtaining a financial benefit for themselves. For example, a person can be charged with trafficking to facilitate their own drug addiction. 

Possible defences

Possible defence to trafficking charges include:

  • that the drug found is not a dangerous drug listed in any schedule under the Drugs Misuse Act;
  • that they honestly believed the drug was not a dangerous drug;
  • That the person was acting under duress;
  • That the person has a mental impairment that means that they did not understand the nature of their actions and were not capable of committing a criminal offence.

What is a dangerous drug?

Often people can get confused with what a dangerous drug is. It is important to note that some pharmaceutical drugs, without a prescription, can be categorised as a dangerous drug.

Types of pharmaceutical drugs that are classified as a dangerous drug include:

  • Clonazepam; 
  • Diazepam; and 
  • Buprenorphine. 

Sentencing 

Trafficking is a serious criminal offence and one that is likely to incur a term of imprisonment. 

Some mitigating factors that can be used to obtain a more lenient sentence include the person’s age, good character, lack of criminal history or like offences and reputation within the community. 

In determining the sentence that should be imposed, the court takes into consideration any mitigating factors arising from the circumstances of the offender or of the offending. These may lessen the severity of the penalty imposed. 

If you require legal advice or representation in a criminal law matter or in any other legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers. 

Published in

Dec 04, 2019

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 
Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela

National Practice Manager

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 

Topics
Topics
People helped badge

Affordable Lawyers

Our Go To Court Lawyers will assist you in all areas of law. We specialise in providing legal advice urgently – at the time when you need it most. If you need a lawyer right now, today, we can help you – no matter where you are in Australia.

How It Works

You speak directly to a lawyer
Arrow
Get your legal situation assessed
Arrow
We arrange everything as needed
You speak directly to a lawyer

1. You speak directly to a lawyer

When you call the Go To Court Legal Hotline, you will be connected directly to a lawyer, every time.

Get your legal situation assessed

2. Get your legal situation assessed

We determine the best way forward in your legal matter, free of charge. If you want to go ahead and book a face-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area.

We arrange everything as needed

3. We arrange everything as needed

If you want to go ahead and book a fact-to-face appointment, we will connect you with a specialist in your local area no matter where you are and even at very short notice.

7am to midnight, 7 days

Call our lawyers now or, have our lawyers call you

1300 636 846
7am to midnight, 7 days
Call our Legal Hotline now