Charged With Drug Trafficking? Be Prepared.

Blog post by Tom Cuthbertson

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Drug trafficking charges can be extremely stressful. The maximum penalties, depending on the specific offending, can even include a life sentence. Given what is at stake, it is crucial to recognise the serious potential of a lengthy term of imprisonment if convicted, and to be prepared at the outset with an effective defence, either in full or in mitigation of the drug trafficking charges.

The Evidence

Often the Prosecution will rely on a combination of the actual substance alleged to be a drug, telephone intercepts, observations and ‘indicia of trafficking’, which include unexplained cash, scales, press-seal bags, mobile phone content of the accused and tick lists. It is commonly thought that by using ‘code’, traffickers can escape the inference that they have been selling drugs – this is not true. The Courts are able to find that the reference to some seemingly innocuous item in a text message or phone call is, in fact, a reference to a specific drug or an amount of drugs. This can be readily inferred by patterns of conduct and intercepts.

Strict Liability

Trafficking prosecutions are made all the more complex by the ‘strict liability’ nature of certain drug offences – this means that, rather than the prosecution bearing the burden of needing to prove beyond reasonable doubt that one was in possession of drugs, simply finding the drugs on an accused’s person or in a vehicle or other property in the control of that person can be sufficient to discharge the burden of proof.

Your Defence Team

Defending drug matters will, on the basis of the legislative burden and complexity of the evidence, often be a difficult task; however, where a lawyer is involved at the outset, an accused person can be satisfied that they will receive the strongest possible protection of their legal rights.

The team at Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers have experience in dealing with drug possession and trafficking matters. Tom Cuthbertson has assisted with the defence of significant drug trafficking and production matters involving the AFP, Victorian Police and South Australian Police. If you have been charged with a drug-related offence, contact Tom for 24 Hour advice on (08) 8312 4520.

Defend Your Criminal Law Charge With Our Fixed-Fee Costs (SA)

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Being arrested or charged by police can be extremely stressful, particularly when it is the result of one bad decision or mistake. Regrettably, when you are charged with offending such as drink driving, driving disqualified, shoplifting, stealing, minor drug possession or minor assault, the ramifications can be significant. Penalties can include fines, convictions on your criminal record and even jail.

The ramifications of these penalties can have enormous impact on your life for years to come; some countries, for example, may refuse a visa for entry if you have a conviction recorded for any drug-related or violent offence. Many forms of employment now require Police Checks as a prerequisite, and having convictions recorded can seriously impact your ability to gain or maintain employment. Even though a particular offence may be considered ‘minor’, it is still extremely important to ensure that a mistake does not turn into a lifetime of punishment.

The team at Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers understands that everyone can make mistakes, our barristers & solicitors are dedicated to ensuring our clients receive the best possible outcome and avoid being punished too harshly for a simple mistake or minor offence; in many cases, we are able to obtain an outcome where no conviction is recorded and no further penalty is applied.

Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers is pleased to offer fixed-fee representation for many common offences – this allows you to ensure that your interests and future are protected by dedicated and experienced barristers & solicitors, while ensuring that bills for legal fees are not causing you even more trouble. Our fixed fees apply to pleas in mitigation for a wide variety of offences, but if you are charged with an offence that is not on our fixed-fee schedule, we still may be able to arrange a customised fixed-fee agreement to suit your circumstances.

Click here to see our fixed-fee schedule for Minor Criminal Offences.

Contact Culshaw Miller Criminal Lawyers today to ensure that your future is protected.