How to get a Section 10 for drug possession
What is a Section 10?
Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act provides that a court can proceed without recording a conviction, upon a finding of guilt for a criminal or traffic offence. This means that a conviction will not appear on your criminal record, or for a traffic offence, you will avoid losing points for a disqualification period for the offence.
For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have represented others, click here.
Are Section 10s common for drug possession?
If it is your first offence for drug possession, yes it is common for courts to deal with cases pursuant to Section 10. In fact, according to the statistics, approximately 75% of first offenders caught with possession of ecstasy are dealt with by way of a Section 10!
So if it is your first offence, you will have a decent chance at getting a Section 10 for drug possession.
What material will I need to get a Section 10 for drug possession?
Generally, for any plea in mitigation, you will need at the very least the following:
- Character references,
- Work references,
- Your agreed Police facts sheet,
It is important that you understand what documentation you need in preparation for your sentencing. These documents need to be set out in the proper court format and addressed to the court in the appropriate way.
What if I do not agree with the Police charges?
If you do not agree with what the police are alleging against you, you should challenge the charge, and plead NOT GUILTY. Quite often, the police can get it wrong, and you may be charged improperly. It is important that you get legal advice from experienced Sydney Criminal Lawyers before you decide whether to plead guilty or plead not guilty.
If you plead guilty to the charge, but do not agree with the Police facts, you may wish to challenge the facts that the Police allege against you. This will be heard on a separate day, so your case will be adjourned for that purpose.
Should I hire a lawyer for a charge of drug possession? What if I cannot afford a lawyer?
Yes. It is always advised that you hire a lawyer for any drug matter, whether it is a drug possession charge or whether it is a more serious drug offence. Drug offences, however minor, are considered as very serious in our community, and magistrates and judges see it that way too. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you should try legal aid, or community legal centres.
For more information on drugs offences, click here.
Call us on 1300 595 299 if you have been charged with a drug offence and want to speak to one of our lawyers.