5 Important tips for attending Music Festivals
This year has seen a record number of drug supply and possession arrests at all of the music festivals in Sydney, including Stereosonic, Field Day and ASOT. It seems that we are in court almost everyday for festival goers who have been busted.
Whilst our Sydney Criminal Lawyers have not failed in getting our clients Section 10’s for possession matters this year (over 100 in the past year alone) and kept all of our clients with supply charges out of jail (making members of the media extremely unhappy), we will not rest in defending those who have been charged with drug offences.
For more information on Section 10 for possession of drugs, and to see some of our case studies where we have represented others, click here.
Whilst we don’t condone drug use, we feel that it is very important that festival goers know their rights when it comes to dealing with the Police at Music Festivals. So we have written an informative list of 5 important things you should know about your rights when approached by Police at a Music Festival.
1. Do not consent to a search, but do not resist.
You must understand that Police only have the right to search you if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that you are committing or about to commit a criminal offence (in this situation, possessing or supplying a prohibited drug). In other words, shaking a mates hand does not give Police the right to search you because they think that POSSIBLY you have supplied him/her drugs. You should always ask the Police why they are searching you, and on what grounds. When possible, a recording of your conversation should take place to ensure that the truth comes out.
If you feel that you have been randomly targeted by Police and searched without reasonable suspicion, you may be able to fight the charge and the admissibility of evidence that the Police try present to court.
2. You have THE RIGHT to remain silent!
You don’t have to answer any questions that are asked of you by the Police, at anytime. The only details you are required to provide are your name and your address.
Exercising your right to silence is not an admission of guilt. Very often, people who are being questioned by Police say things that are not true. This does not necessarily mean that they are guilty of anything! You may not wish to nominate the owner of the drugs that you are carrying, nor are you required to. You may not wish to tell the Police what you intended on doing with the drugs, whether they were for your own personal use, or for a friend. You are not required to answer any of these questions.
3. Understand the law relating to “deemed supply”
Did you know that you could possibly be charged with supplying a prohibited drug if you have more than about 3 or 4 pills in your possession? Whilst Police nowadays do not charge “deemed supply” unless you have considerably more than the “trafficable” quantity (0.75 grams, or 3 to 4 pills), they can automatically charge you for supply if you have more than that amount in your possession. This is because the law says that you have too much in your possession for your own personal use, and therefore you must have it in your possession for the purpose of supply.
However, nowadays, it is normal for a festival goer to “pop” more than 7 or 8 pills in one night!
For more information on Supply Prohibited Drug, and to see our case studies on those who we have represented in the past who were charged with Supply, click here.
4. Ask to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible!
Remember, you are entitled to obtain legal advice immediately upon your arrest. You should call us immediately.
We work 24/7, and our number is not hard to remember!
Each case is different, so we will advise you on what your options are, and what your rights are at the Police station.
We will attend the Police station to facilitate the arrest process, and make sure that you are treated fairly by the Police.
We will arrange bail for you.
We will contact your family and advise them of the situation.
5. DO NOT bring in or take drugs!
Drugs are extremely dangerous, even ecstacy or MDMA. There have been a couple of recent deaths associated with ecstacy use. You never know what you are taking.
Despite about 77% of offenders who are charged with Possession of ecstacy being dealt with by way of a Section 10 No conviction, there is a chance that you could be convicted (even with a clean record), and your career and criminal record could be tarnished for life.
Call us anytime for a free consulation, on 1300LYLAWYERS or 1300 595 299.