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HOW YOU SHOULD DEAL WITH DRUG POSSESSION CHARGES

Did you know that possession of an Illicit Drug with Intent to sell could face up to 10 years imprisonment?

DRUG POSSESSION CHARGES

If you are found to be in possession of drugs, you may face the following charges:

  • Possession of the drugs (if they’re illicit);
  • Possession of a controlled substance (if they’re prescription and you should not have them);
  • Possession with the intent to sell and supply (if the police think that you are dealing drugs); or
  • Drug trafficking (if you have under your control a very large amount of illicit drugs).

How you are charged depends on a few key factors, namely, the weight or quantity of drugs found, the kind of drugs found, the manner in which they were found and anything else that was found in your possession at the same time.

Most of the time, when drugs are found in a person’s possession, they are charged with a ‘possession’ offence and the amount of drugs found will be the determinative factor in how the charge is dealt with, what court it is heard in and what the applicable penalties are.  It is at this point that you need to seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer, as there can be huge differences in the outcome or penalty based on how you are charged.

CASE STUDY EXAMPLE

‘J’ was a client of Tang Law that had been caught with cannabis and prescription medication in his car and then was charged with possession with the intent to sell and supply and possession of a controlled substance. The potential maximum penalties for these offences are:

Possession of a Schedule 4 or 8 poison (controlled substance) – a fine of $45,000 and imprisonment for 3 years

Possession of an Illicit Drug with Intent to Sell or Supply (cannabis) – a fine of $20,000 and imprisonment for 10 years

After J instructed Tang Law and we began to correspond with the police to find the underlying causes for this offending, the matter remained in the lowest jurisdiction, pleas of guilty were entered by J and a report was produced for the Court to consider during sentencing.

Based on all the information provided to the Court, including the submissions made on J’s behalf by his lawyer at Tang Law, the Magistrate decided that the appropriate sentence on this occasion was a 12-month order for J to report to police (supervision requirement) and attend counselling sessions for his drug use problem (counselling requirement). This allowed J to get the help that he needed whilst continuing on with his life, outside of prison.

If you have been charged with the possession of drugs, you may contact Tang Law on (08) 9328 7525 to speak with one of our experienced criminal lawyers.


About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr. Ward is an experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.

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Possession of Money Believed to be from an Illegal Source

If you are facing a charge for the possession of illegal drugs (even a very small amount), then it is a common situation that police may believe that any cash found in your possession has come from selling drugs. Therefore, under Western Australia’s Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913 (also known as the ‘Criminal Code’), the police can seize such money based on such a suspicion (section 417 Criminal Code).

The penalty for possession of property (including cash) believed to be unlawfully obtained, is up to 7 years imprisonment, or if the charge stays down in the Magistrates Court, the penalty is up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $24,000. Further, if this charge is proven in court, then the cash that the police seized does not get returned to the person from who it was taken.

How to prove your innocence and getting your money back

In a situation like the one described above, when an amount of cash has been seized by police and a charge has been laid against the person under section 417 of the Criminal Code, it can be a real uphill battle to prove your innocence. In a situation like this it is necessary to either be proven Not Guilty at trial or, even better, to get the charge discontinued before it even goes to trial. This is where an experienced criminal lawyer can help.

If the charge for the money that the State allege was unlawfully obtained relates to drugs (as is often the case), then it may be hard to prove there is a reasonable excuse for having such cash in your possession, especially if that amount of cash is large. At this point Tang Law’s experienced team can help to prove the truth of the situation; that you earnt or were given this money legally. This is not easily done, but it certainly can be done…and has been done!

Case Study Example

In a case that Tang Law had recently, a client of ours was found with over $5,000 cash in his possession, along with a very small amount of recreational drugs. The police charged this man with possession of the drugs and possession of the cash, which they were saying was suspected to have been obtained through illegal means.

Through lots of negotiation with the Police Prosecutor’s office, the collection of evidence in support of our client’s position, and the writing of legal submissions, we were able to separate the charges; so that the young man pleaded Guilty to having the drugs (for his own use) and the charge for the cash was dropped. This meant that we could then get the lowest possible fine for the possession drugs charge, and our client got his seized money returned to him!

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offence in Western Australia, give us a call on 9328 7525 and book your appointment today.


About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr. Ward is an experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.

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Compensation for Victims of Crime

If you are injured or suffer any other kind of loss due to a crime being committed by someone else, then you may be able to claim compensation.

This is also true for the families of an individual that is killed during the commission of a crime, in order to cover the expenses that they suffer after the loss of a loved one.

The Application Process

Compensation claims for injuries as a result of a crime being committed are made under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003 (WA) and any such order has a current limit of $75,000.

There is a 3 year time limit to lodge such a claim, however, in certain circumstances an extension of time may be granted.

Once an application has been submitted, the Criminal Injuries Compensation team at the Department of Justice will give your matter to a Case manager, and then a well-trained Assessor will determine the amount that you may be entitled to.

The documents that will need to be submitted on your behalf should always be prepared carefully and properly ahead of time, these may include:

  • The Application form;
  • A Statement of Events (for the crime/s that led to your suffering);
  • A Victim Impact Statement; and
  • Medical or Psychological reports that can help to substantiate your claim.

What Losses Can You Be Compensated For

As well as for the general pain and suffering that you have suffered as the direct result of a crime, you may also be entitled to compensation for the following:

  • loss of enjoyment of life
  • loss of income
  • medical or psychological treatment expenses
  • other incidental expenses (such as travel or loss/damage of property)

Proving the Crime

A crime does need to have been committed in order for an application for Criminal Injuries Compensation to be successful, but even if no one is convicted, you may still be able to get fair and reasonable compensation.

As long as the Assessor is satisfied that the offence occurred and your losses were suffered as a result of that offence, there is an avenue through which compensation can be claimed.

It is important to help the police/prosecutors to bring the culprit to justice however, so cooperation is essential if any details of the offence are required from you. A good lawyer can be a massive help to assist in communications with prosecutors on your behalf, and remember, there is extra support available through Victims of Crime; an initiative through the Western Australian State Government.


About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr. Ward is an experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.

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Case Study : Criminal Charges for “Indecent Dealing”

This is a real case that happened recently.

B was charged with 2 counts of ‘Indecently Dealing’ with a young, teenage girl whom he had met on the internet, pursuant to section 321(4) of the Criminal Code (WA), where it states that:

Child of or over 13 and under 16, sexual offences against

A person who indecently deals with a child is guilty of a crime and is liable to the punishment…

Sentence

For a charge of this nature, the maximum sentence prescribed by law is 7 years imprisonment.

In past cases, generally, the Courts have given sentences in the range of 2 to 5 years.    It is highly likely that B would have received a sentence of this nature, if he had been found guilty.

Allegations Made by Prosecutor

The Prosecutor alleged that B’s actions were predatory and calculated.

It became apparent to us, as B’s lawyers, that B is a shy young man and has some issues pertaining to mental health.   The factors personal to his situation had to be analysed in order to bring to light the personal issues that may have led to his offending; his upbringing, personal immaturity, issues pertaining to his mental health and the impersonal nature of the online communications that allowed for such a shy young man to connect inappropriately with a captive audience.

Sentencing Hearing

B pleaded guilty to the charges, however, the details of the allegations made by the Prosecutor were inaccurate and they were challenged at the sentencing hearing.

Expert opinions and psychiatric findings in relation to the Accused were obtained and written Sentencing Submissions were filed with the District Court of Western Australia.

Result:  B was given a suspended sentence, allowing him to remain out of prison and giving him the access to help that he really needed.   This result was more favourable than the sentences received by similar accused persons in past cases.


About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr. Ward is an experienced Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.

 

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TL-Dangerous-Driving

Reckless and Dangerous Driving | Penalties and Legal Action

If you are caught driving a motor vehicle on any length of road in Western Australia above the speed limit designated for that section of road, then you will receive a penalty. The penalty changes and gets higher (usually in terms of a fine and/or license disqualification received) depending on how far over the speed limit you are travelling at the time.

If the police consider your driving to be inherently dangerous, or in the circumstances a danger to the public or any person, then you can be charged with Driving in a Reckless Manner. One of the factors that automatically makes a person’s manner of driving Reckless is if they are travelling over 155km/h or 45km/h over the speed limit on any stretch road.

Penalties for Driving at Reckless Speed

The penalties for driving in a Reckless Manner or at Reckless Speed are contained in the Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA) and vary depending on the situation. In all circumstances however, an offender charged under these sections of the Road Traffic Act is liable to serve a potential term of imprisonment and will lose their license for at least 6 months.

If prison is avoided (which it can be in most situations) then offenders still face some pretty big fines, to go along with the loss of license. These include:

  • A fine of up to $6,000 for a first offence
  • A fine of up to $9,000 for a second offence
  • A fine of up to $12,000 for any subsequent offence

The penalties involved in any particular case vary and take into account many different factors, however, in most cases they are not fixed and can be kept to a minimum with good legal representation.

What to do if you are charged with Driving at Reckless Speed

If you are caught driving at a speed that is considered reckless according to either of the 2 above criteria from the Road Traffic Act, then you will be given a summons to appear at court and should seek legal representation as soon as possible.

Tang Law’s team of lawyers can help to minimize the effect of the charge and get you the lowest penalty possible; keeping the license disqualification period to a minimum, making sure the fine is well below the maximum and keeping you out of jail!

What can you expect from an experienced traffic lawyer?

An effective and experience traffic lawyer will:

  1. Always, fully examine your situation (including all material facts giving rise to and circumstances surrounding the charge;
  2. Determine the likely and realistic consequences the charge will have on you;
  3. Understand your personal circumstance and provide you with effective options on defending you or mitigating your situation;
  4. Undertake effective communication and negotiation with Police Prosecution;
  5. Obtain useful character references; and
  6. All importantly, professional and effective representation in court to defend you and present your best possible case

For more information, please contact the writer, Mr Adam Ward, Associate Lawyer, at TANG LAW at 9328 7525 or [email protected]

#Traffic Offences for Driving Without a License #Criminal Law


About Writer

Adam Ward was admitted into the legal profession in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2015 and joined Tang Law in May 2019. Mr Ward is an experience Criminal and Traffic Lawyer with extensive experience in representing clients in Courts on all issues relating to Traffic Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Injury Compensation.

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