Drug offences and the misuse of illegal drugs are taken very seriously within the NSW legal system. If you have been charged with drug cultivation (e.g. cannabis cultivation), contacting an experienced lawyer will prove imperative to achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
The team here at Hamilton Janke lawyers are experts in drug offences, including drug cultivation and commercial quantity drug trafficking, and can provide advice and support to assist you in getting your best result.
Cultivating prohibited cannabis plants is the act of sowing or scattering the seed to, as well as planting, growing, tending to, nurturing or harvesting a prohibited plant. This is common regarding marijuana, as well as cocaine and opium; however, it can be relevant in the cultivation of all prohibited plants.
Drug cultivation involves the process of growing a prohibited plant or drug. Contrastingly, drug manufacturing refers to any process that is used, other than cultivation, to produce a drug.
The cultivation of a prohibited plant is an offence under s.23 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985), which states a person who:
Cultivates, or knowingly takes part in the cultivation of, a prohibited plant, supplies, or knowingly takes part in the supply of, a prohibited plant, or has a prohibited plant in his or her possession, is guilty of an offence.
As outlined by the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985), the maximum penalty for drug cultivation in NSW carries a maximum penalty of 2-year imprisonment (if heard in the local court) or a prison sentence of up to 10 years if the matter is heard in the district court. If the case refers to a plant other than cannabis, the maximum penalty is 15 years.
However; this maximum penalty can differ dependent on various factors, including:
Under law, if you are charged with drug cultivation, the court has discretion to sentence you to any of the following penalties:
If you are reported for drug cultivation, and the police are satisfied that you both cultivated a plant and that the plant was prohibited, you may be charged with the offence of drug cultivation under section 23 Of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985). As a criminal offence, you may have your matter heard in either the local or the district court, depending on the number of plants that the person is charged with cultivating.
Where the number of prohibited plants exceeds the indictable quantity, the matter will be heard in the district court.
In many circumstances, individuals are not legally required to report a crime when they witness it. However, under section 315 of the Crimes Act 1900, is it an offence to conceal information regarding a serious indictable offence (any offence that carries a prison term of at least five years) if you don’t have a reasonable excuse for failure to report.
As drug cultivation carry a maximum penalty of up to 10 years, failure to report this offence if you witness it can have negative legal consequences. If you witness such an offence, it is recommended that you seek advice from an expert criminal lawyer or else, report any knowledge of it anonymously through crime stoppers.
If you choose to plead ‘not guilty’ to the charges of drug cultivation this means that you disagree that the Police can prove either one, or several of the elements of the drug cultivation charges against you. In this circumstance, you will not be convicted unless the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of the offence.
Our team can advise you on the various legal defences that may be applicable to your circumstances, and can result in either a lesser charge or an acquittal. These defences can include, but are not limited to;
If you plead guilty to drug cultivation, you agree that the prosecution can prove each of the elements of the offence that you have been charged with, against you. Pleading guilty if you have committed the offence will provide you with the best possible outcome.
If you are choosing to plead guilty, an earlier plea most often entitles you to a lesser sentence, with a current maximum discount of 25% for an early plea. Your case will be heard in a sentencing hearing, where the Hamilton Janke team can assist you in achieving the best possible outcome for the circumstances of your case.
As a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an individual has engaged in drug cultivation.
To be found guilty of drug cultivation under section 23 (1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985), the prosecution must prove;
To be found guilty of cultivating by enhanced indoor means, the prosecution must prove the following;
If you are being charged with drug cultivation in NSW, it is vital that you seek legal advice and legal representation. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed and assist you through every step of the process. Contact our expert Criminal Defence Lawyers now.
Hamilton Janke Lawyers are one of the top rated Criminal Law Firms in the region. We treat every client with the respect and commitment they deserve. This commitment to our profession has earned us a reputation which we are very proud.