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Plead not guilty

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You imported or exported a substance; and
  2. The substance was a border controlled drug or border controlled plant

If it is alleged that the weight of the border controlled drug or border controlled plant is a marketable or commercial quantity then the weight of the border controlled drug or border controlled plant is an additional element the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt.

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if you can establish that you had a reasonable and honest belief that the substance imported or exported was not a border controlled drug or border controlled plant.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The maximum penalty for Importing or exporting a border controlled drug or border controlled plant varies depending on the weight of the border controlled drug or border controlled plant. The maximum penalties range from a fine of $220,000.00 and/or 10 years imprisonment for an import, to a fine of $550,000.00 and/or 25 years imprisonment for importing a marketable quantity, and a fine of $825,000.00 and/or life imprisonment for importing a commercial quantity.

Importing or exporting a border controlled drug or border controlled plant is considered an extremely serious offence. If you are charged with this offence, we advise that you contact one of our solicitors immediately.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Our client was charged with Importing a commercial quantity of Ketamine, from the UK.

A parcel containing the drugs was sent to our client’s home, addressed to a fictitious name. Our client accepted the package.

The court case proceeded at Central Local Court in Sydney, where after 6 months in custody, our Principal Adam Ly appeared before Magistrate Williams and applied for bail. Our argument was that with a lessor charge of Attempted Possession of a Commercial Quantity of a Border Controlled Drug, and with our client’s limited role and lack of unacceptable risks on bail, that our client should be granted bail.

The argument was successful and our client was granted bail.

The case then was transferred to Griffith District Court for sentencing, before Judge Grant.

With Counsel instructed, Mr. Ly was able to successfully argue for a 3 year Recognisance release order, our client not having to serve any further jail time. His Honour agreed with every argument proposed by our legal team.

It was a remarkable result, given that the offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of Life, with the statistics showing that 98% of offenders are sentenced to a term of immediate full time imprisonment.

Our client was charged with Importing a Commercial Quantity of Cocaine following an extensive AFP investigation into an international crime syndicate importing large quantities of prohibited drugs into Australia.

After getting bail for our client in the Local Court, we faced a long and hard battle with the Australian Federal Police and Commonwealth DPP fighting to clear our client’s name and avoid a lengthy term of imprisonment.

We were totally convinced in our client’s innocence and found that certain aspects of the investigation of the AFP officer to be highly questionable.

After an aborted Trial in the Sydney District Court, the case came back to Court in May of 2021, where it proceeded to a 3 week Jury Trial.

Much of the evidence relied upon by the prosecution was disputed, included a dubiously translated Police interview, where we found numerous questionable translations. We hired our own expert interpreter who acted as our Defence witness, successfully rebutting the translation of that of the Commonwealth DPP translator.

The Jury took just over an hour to find our client Not Guilty of the Importation.

A massive injustice had been avoided with our client’s acquittal.


Our client was charged with Importing 3.9 tonnes of pseudoephedrine.

Adam attended Central Local Court in October 2017 instruction Senior Counsel, when the matter was listed for Bail application before Magistrate Mabbutt. It was an extremely difficult bail application.

Providing the court with extensive evidence that the “bail concerns” held by the Commonwealth DPP could be mitigated, the court found that the surety provided by our client’s family (being a mortgage over the family house) and strict reporting conditions was sufficient for our client to be granted bail.

It is expected that our client would have had to wait at least 2 years before trial, and if bail was refused she would be spending that time in custody. Our client went to trial in August 2019, before Judge Tupman at Sydney District Court. The trial went on for 4.5 weeks before the Jury delivered a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY. Our client remained a free person and walked from court with her family.


Our client, an American national was charged in February 2019 with Importing a Commercial Quantity of Border Controlled Drug, namely 3,4- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The matter proceeded to Sydney District Court on a plea of guilty to the charge.

Our Principal Adam Ly took part in tough negotiations of the Agreed Facts with the DPP. A highly favourable position was eventually secured for our client, limited his role significantly in the commission of the offence.

On sentence at Sydney District Court on 12 May 2020, His Honour Judge McClintock sentenced our client to a Non-Parole Period of 4 years, to commence in February 2019.

An exceptional result for an importation of drugs of this quantity.


Our client was charged with Importing 1.4 tonnes of Ephedrine in July 2017.

Our Principal Adam Ly, and Senior Counsel attended Central Local Court shortly following our client’s arrest.

The Bail application appeared before Magistrate Mabbutt.

We argued that whilst the charges were extremely serious in nature, the Prosecution’s concerns that our client would flee the jurisdiction and presented a flight risk, could be mitigated by strict bail conditions.

I client’s was required to deposit a large amount of surety (the family home) and abide by strict reporting and bail conditions.

He continues to be free to fight his case, which is expected to finalise in 2020.

Client sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for import of more than 100kg pure MDMA

We represented 2 co-accused in one of Australia’s largest ever importation of MDMA. After successful in getting one of the co-accused charges dismissed, our other co-accused faced the same charge for his role in the importation of the drugs into Sydney, concealed in water filters.

After a plea of guilty to the charge, our Director and Principal Adam Ly appeared at Sydney District Court briefing Senior Counsel in sentencing proceedings before Judge Tupman in November 2019.

Our client was young, had no previous criminal convictions and a severe gambling addition at the time of his offending. His father gave compelling evidence at the sentencing hearing and expert evidence was tendered as to his mental illnesses at the time of offending. Adam presented a strong subjective case for our client and through tough negotiations with the Commonwealth DPP we were successful presenting a favourable set of facts for the court.

Our client was sentenced to a non-parole period of 4 years. Having done time served, our client is due to be eligible for parole in just over 2 years.

A fantastic result for our client and his family.

Our client was charged for his role in importing a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, being 585kg of Methamphetamine. He was also charged with the supply of 47g of methamphetamine, as a separate charge.

This was the largest ever recorded importation of methamphetamine in Australia’s history.

The offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Our client was 21 years old at the time of the offence, and was recruited by others to participate in the movement of the drugs from the warehouse, upon them arriving in Australia. He was clearly a person who had a minor role in the offence and had little control over the enterprise and its operations. He was recruited to undertake certain tasks, to enable those above him to keep a distance from detection.

Adam from our office fought hard to establish a strong case for leniency for our client, and was successful in establishing many mitigating circumstances that would lessen the overall jail term.

The case appeared before Sweeney J, in Sydney District Court in June 2014.

Our client was sentenced to a non-parole period of 4 years imprisonment.

An extraordinary result for an extremely serious charge.

Our client, a 19 year old student, was charged for his part in the importation of 300kg of cocaine. This was the largest ever importation of any drug in Victoria’s history. The matter appeared before the Supreme Court of Victoria for sentence, upon application from the Victorian DPP that it be dealt with by the Supreme Court of Victoria, rather than the lower County Court of Victoria.

Our client’s role was very minor, clearly being recruited by more influential ‘big’ players, for his role in the transportation of the cocaine.

Our client was ultimately sentenced to a term of full time imprisonment with a non-parole period of 6.5 years.

Our client pleaded guilty importing a marketable quantity (300grams) of border controlled drug. The matter appeared before the Northern Territory Supreme Court, where our client pleaded ‘guilty’.

She received a total sentence of 4.5 years, with a non-parole period of 2.5 years. This sentence was considered one of the lightest sentences for this type of offence.