Drugs & Illegal Substances Offences

Outstanding Results In Defending Or Penalty Reduction

Sydney's Leading Criminal Lawyers

Read why we provide leading outcomes for clients charged with drugs and Illegal substance offenses for our clients.

Expert lawyers with outstanding results.

Illegal Substances

Police and the courts are tough on substances. The government invests huge resources and energy into charging and convicting people with substances-related offences.

If you are charged with a substances related offence you need a committed defence team on your side. The penalties are harsh and the impact on your life can be long lasting. Even minor substance possession can result in a criminal record making it tough to hold a job or progress your career.

Goldman lawyers will stand with you from the time of your arrest until your court appearance to make sure you get the best outcome.

  1. Possession of illegal substances

  2. Illegal searches

  3. Illegal searches

  4. Deemed supply

  5. Illegal substances supply

  6. Illegal substances supply on an ongoing basis

  7. Illegal substance cultivation

  8. Illegal substances manufacture

  9. Illegal substance premises

  10. Illegal searches Need

  11. Commercial substance trials

NSW Illicit Drug Offences Stats

Illicit drug offences 2016 – 2021*

Our Senior Criminal Lawyers

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Jaswinder (Jas) Sekhon

Managing Director

Jaswinder strives to simplify and demystify complex legal
matters, to explain them logically and without “jargon”.
He resolves and commits to the best possible commercial
outcomes for his clients.

Mathew Nott

Mathew Nott

Practice Area Head Criminal Law Division

Mathew handles the tough charge negotiation with police and brings innovate thinking to defending our clients in Court. His record is outstanding. He will stand shoulder to shoulder with you from the beginning to the end of your matter.

Drug Offences in NSW

The Federal Criminal Code Act covers offences of importing and exporting illegal drugs. Most other drug offences in NSW (New South Wales) are found in the state Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.

Maximum penalties depend on the type and quantity of the drug, whether the charge is a summary offence or a more serious indictable offence, and whether the charge is dealt with in the Local or District Court. See our tables on sentencing ranges in New South Wales below.

The Power To Search & Detect

The NSW Law Enforcement (Powers & Responsibilities) Act 2002 gives police powers to search people, their belongings and their vehicles, and to use sniffer dogs to detect drug offences in NSW. Police can direct people in public places to move on if they believe they are supplying, soliciting supply, or buying drugs.

Importing & Exporting

Under federal law, it is an offence to import, or try to import, prohibited drugs. The prosecution must prove the intention to import and the knowledge that drugs were being carried.The prosecution must prove knowledge of the importing and performance of some act, such as providing money.

Administering an Illegal Drug

State-based drug offences in NSW include the administration or self-administration of an illegal drug.

Self-administration means using an illegal drug. Administering also applies to drugs given to others, including injecting them, allowing them to take drugs, or spiking drinks/food. It is an offence even if the person consents. The only exception is if the drug is administered in a licensed medically supervised injecting centre.

Drug Equipment

It is an offence to have equipment (except syringes) which you intend to use to administer drugs in the future. Evidence of past use isn’t enough. The prosecution must prove knowledge of and custody or control of equipment. it is an offence to sell, supply or display for sale a bong or ice pipe, or parts of one.


It is an offence to possess illegal or illicit drugs in NSW. To be convicted the drugs must be in the person’s custody or control (even for a short time) and they must know that it is, or likely is, a prohibited drug. ‘Custody’ means immediate physical possession, like having something in a pocket. ‘Control’ is the right to do something with it, like consuming it.

Drug Offences in NSW Relating To Supply

Supply includes selling or giving away drugs or agreeing to do so, delivering them, or offering to supply them, even if there is no intention to do so. It doesn’t matter if it is really a drug, only that a person said it was to persuade another to buy or take it. ‘Supply’ includes deemed supply, where the quantity is such that it is exceeds what is likely for personal use alone – in other words, it is a traffickable quantity. It is a defence if a person can prove it was not for supply.

The Maximum Penalties

The offence of supplying drugs on an ongoing basis requires that the person has supplied on 3 occasions within a 30-day period. It doesn’t have to be the same drug and excludes cannabis. It must be for financial or other material reward.

NSW Drug Court

The NSW Drug Court is a specialist court that provides an alternative to prison for eligible participants with substance dependencies that have committed certain crimes

Merit Program

MERIT is a program available in most Local Courts in New South Wales that provides the opportunity for adult defendants with substance abuse problems to work, on a voluntary basis, towards rehabilitation as part of the bail process.

Defendants can be identified by the Magistrate, solicitor, police or the defendants themselves as suitable for assessment for the MERIT Program. MERIT teams, based in NSW Health or non-government organisations then conduct an assessment after which the defendant may be accepted into MERIT to receive targeted substance or alcohol treatment.*

A MERIT treatment plan is developed to match the defendant’s individual needs. The Court may make the defendant’s involvement in MERIT a condition of bail.


No Stress No Obligation Discussion

Speak directly with one of our senior lawyers for a no stress no obligation discussion on your criminal matter. All discussions are subject to legal professional privilege and confidential whether you finally proceed to use our services or not.

Outstanding Results In Criminal Defences

Our senior lawyers achieve outstanding results and standby you during the process. This is a stressful time for you and the consequences can be with you for the rest of your life.

Fees That Suit Your Budget And Needs

We have a number of fee packages that you may download. Use our free case assessment form online so that we can provide you with our thoughts on the strategy. You can also speak to the lawyer that will defend you in court or assist in mitigating your sentence and plea.

Unique Online Pricing Guide

We have clear and transparent fee structures and are one of the leading firms that you can contact totally online and even download. This saves us time and we pass this on for the benefit of our clients in terms of reduced costs.

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*© NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics