Do Drug Possession Charges Go On Your Record?
Although many ‘party’ or ‘recreational’ drugs may seem relatively harmless and fun to use, the fact remains that they are seen as highly illegal throughout Australia. Popular drugs such as cannabis or cocaine are widely used throughout Australia, but many people don’t seem to realise just how much trouble they can get into if they are caught with them.
If you do get caught with illicit drugs, you could be facing a significant amount of time in jail, along with a criminal record and financial penalties. It’s always worth consulting with a criminal lawyer if you’re facing drugs charges to determine the best way to minimise the consequences and reduce the impact the charges have on your future.
What Are The Penalties For Drug Possession?
It’s important to note that the exact penalties for drug possession in Australia vary by state. In Western Australia (WA), a person convicted of drug possession faces a maximum $2000 fine and 2 years in prison. However, these maximum penalties aren’t always applied, and it’s common to get off with no or minimal jail time.
However, if you are caught with a significant amount of any drug, you might be facing supply and distribution charges, even if you had it purely for personal use. The penalties for supply are significant, ranging up to $100000 and 25 years imprisonment. Again, these penalties are often reserved for the worst offenders, but it’s simply not worth the risk.
When Will A Drug Conviction Be Recorded On My Criminal Record?
In WA all drug convictions are recorded on a person’s criminal record, regardless of the size of the offence. Having a criminal record can lead to all sorts of problems, namely making it hard to get a job, to travel or to get a loan. However, there are a few cases where being caught with drugs in Western Australia won’t result in permanent criminal record. The most common of these is when an offender is cautioned under the Cannabis Intervention Requirement (CIR) Scheme.
The Cannabis Intervention Requirement Scheme
Under WA law, not everyone caught in possession of cannabis will be sent to court and convicted of drug related offences. If you are caught with either (1) less than 10 grams of cannabis for personal use or (2) smoking implements with cannabis traces, you can be cautioned under the CIR.
If you receive a CIR caution, you will be required to complete a Cannabis Intervention Session (CIS) within 28 days. Doing so will allow you to avoid a criminal record. However, if you fail to attend a CIS you will still be prosecuted according to the relevant drug possession laws.
If you are charged with drug possession or any other drug related offences, it’s worth speaking to a criminal lawyer. They will be able to help you minimise the consequences that you’re facing, possibly leading to a not-guilty verdict or no jail time.