What is the penalty for possession of drugs?

What is the penalty for possession of drugs?


Many people ask us the question: What is the likely penalty for possessing or supplying a prohibited drug at a music festival?

We have represented hundreds of client who have been charged with a range of possess and supply prohibited drug charges, drugs including:

  • Ecstacy,
  • Cocaine,
  • Cannabis,
  • Methamphetamine (ice)
  • Heroin

…and many more.

Many of those who are charged with possessing prohibited drugs are caught with the drugs in their possession at music festivals. Many are also young partygoers who do not fully appreciate the seriousness of possessing drugs.

Possessing a prohibited drug in NSW is a serious criminal offence carrying a potential jail term of 2 years. Fortunately in NSW, Magistrates are often very understanding, in terms of the sentences that are handed out to young, immature first offenders.

The Statistics

Statistics show that a remarkable 2 out of 3 of all offenders who are charged with Possessing ecstasy, dealt with in the Local Courts of NSW, are dealt with by not recording a conviction, pursuant to Section 10, of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This is a very common penalty for possession of drugs.

This is an illustration of the Local Court’s general attitude towards the possession of ecstasy in particular.

Drugs at Music Festivals

Penalty for Possession of drugs at music festivals

Most of those who are busted at music festivals are found with ecstasy on their person.

They would likely enter a plea of guilty, and appear in the Local Court where they will be sentenced by the Local Court Magistrate in that jurisdiction.

Whilst it is likely that you will not receive a conviction if it is your first offence, it is important that you contact a Criminal Lawyer immediately to represent you in court. Your chances at getting a Section 10 as a penalty for possession of drugs will be much higher with expert representation.

Supply of Prohibited Drugs at music festivals

Supply of any prohibited drug is considered by the court as a serious offence. Generally, if you have more than 3-4 ecstacy tablets in your possession, it is considered as “deemed supply”. This is because the law states that you have more than the “traffickable quantity” in your possession. Under NSW drug laws, this amount is 0.75 grams, which is usually about 3-4 ecstacy tablets.

More recently, we have achieved non-conviction dismissals for many of our clients charged with “deemed supply” of ecstacy, including those who have been found with more than 10 pills in their possession!

For more information and a list of some case studies where we have represented our clients for possession, go to:


As always, if you are charged with a possess prohibited drug or supply prohibited drug offence, you should call one of our Sydney Drug Lawyers immediately on 1300 595 299 to organise an obligation free consultation.