What are my rights when caught with drugs?

Your rights when caught with drugs

Going to Stereosonic music festival this weekend?

It’s important to know your rights when it comes to attending a music festival, particularly if you have been pulled up by the Police.

Can the Police officer search me without a reasonable excuse?

The police must have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that you are committing a criminal offence, or have possession of something illegal, before they have the right to search you. If the police do not have a reasonable suspicion that a criminal offence is occurring, or that you have possession of a prohibited substance, the evidence may be thrown out when the matter reaches court.

What should I do if the police wish to search me at a music festival?

Sniffer dogs

Generally, at music festivals, a sniffer dog provides the police with an ‘indication’ that a person may have possession of a prohibited drug before searching that person. If it is the case that a police dog has not approached you, should always ask the police officer the reason why they have decided that you should be subject to a search. If it is the case that a police dog has indicated that you may have possession of prohibited drugs, you should confirm this with the police officer before allowing them to search you.

You should ALWAYS ask the police officer who wants to search you WHY they wish to do so.

You should always say to the police officer who wants to search you that you DO NOT consent to the search, but will not resist if they do so.

What should I do if the police find drugs on me?

If the police search you, and find drugs on your person, they will almost certainly place you under arrest for the possession of drugs. Remember, you have the RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. It is advised that you remain silent and exercise your right to silence, however it is completely your choice. Quite often, in the stress of the moment, those found with drugs can often make inaccurate statements, which in future when the matter appears in court, can be damaging to their case.

In particular, you have the right to not answer any questions in relation to where you got the drugs from, what you were going to do with the drugs, and what you thought the drugs actually were.

Ask to get in contact with your lawyer before answering any questions!

What happens if I have a large amount of drugs in my possession?

If you have more than the “trafficable quantity” of prohibited drugs in your possession, you may be charged with “Supply Prohibited Drug”. For more information on the trafficable amounts for each drug, and to see case studies where we have represented others charged with supply, click here.

Generally, if you have more than 3 or 4 pills in your possession, you could be charged with “deemed supply”.

Unsurprisingly, nowadays it common for festival-goers to consume 5 to 6 tablets per festival!

For more information on possess prohibited drug and to see case studies where we have represented others charged with possession, click here.

What happens if I am charged with a criminal offence?

If you are charged with possession or supply prohibited drug, it is important that you speak to an experience Criminal Defence Lawyer immediately.

You will be required to go to court a few weeks after your arrest.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, and how much drugs are found on you, you may have the opportunity to be dealt with under “Section 10“, that is, you may admit to the possession of the drugs and ask that you not be convicted for the offence. If you are successful in achieving a Section 10, you will remain conviction record free, and not receive any further penalty.

For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have represented others and achieved Section 10s for them, click here.


Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for more information.