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Home Blog Drug Offences in Queensland (QLD)

Drug Offences in Queensland (QLD)

Drug Offences in Queensland subsumes lots of actions, activity and substances related to drug use in Queensland. It also includes all other related offences that occurred as a result of the drug offence. If you are convicted of a drug offence, especially of larger quantities, the court will sentence you under any of these Legislations;

Drug Offences are more severe when it is a Schedule 1 drug that is used. These serious offences (drugs) are;

The Schedule 2 drugs are considered under less serious drug offences, and they include;

Where there is a court conviction, Drug offences will in most circumstances appear on an individual's national criminal history check in QLD.

What are the categories of drug offences under the law?

The Categories for the Drug Offences in QLD accounts for behaviours, actions, participation or other forms of involvement in a drug offence. The Court will impose punishments up to the maximum penalties stated by the law for any categories/offences it finds you guilty of.

The Offence of Drug Possession

Under Section 13 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986, it is an offence to possess a drug unless it was legally prescribed by a physician. You don't have to be caught or seen with the drug before you are charged with possession. The legislation also states that a Drug possession offence is committed where;

In summary, the prosecutor has to prove three things to the court; that the accused;

Penalties for Drug Possession

  1. Possession of a drug (for your personal use and with no intent to sell) can be heard as a summary offence in Queensland.

Maximum penalty: $11,800 (100 penalty units) and/or 3 years imprisonment.

  1. If the police choose to prosecute you on indictment in the District or Supreme Court, you will face a maximum penalty of $590,000 (5,000 penalty units) and/or, 15 years imprisonment.
  2. If you are caught with larger quantities, the law stipulates penalties between;

$590,000 in fines and/or, 25 years to life imprisonment sentencing

The offence of Supply and Trafficking of Drugs

Moving or exchanging prohibited drugs for another commodity, especially in larger quantities is a serious offence.

The offences of supply not only occur when the action happens. It involves;

Other charges can be attributed to supply even when money is not involved, or there was no actual supply.

Aggravated supply is a much more serious offence, and occurs where the supply occurred;

Penalties the Law stipulates;

The Law stipulates penalties depending on the drug you supplied or attempted to.

  1. Supplying/Trafficking of Schedule 1 drugs attract maximum penalties of;

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 20 years imprisonment

  1. For aggravated offences:

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or, 25 years imprisonment.

  1. Supplying any other dangerous drug: Maximum penalty:

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 15 years imprisonment

  1. For an aggravated offence:

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 20 years imprisonment.

However, if the court concludes that you had no intent to make money off the supply, it may treat the offence as a summary offence. The Law stipulates penalties of;

$11,800 (100 penalty units.) and/or, 3 years imprisonment

Offences of Production/Manufacturing and Cultivation of Drugs

Section 8 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986 proposes severe fines for anyone guilty of cultivation/manufacture or production of illegal substances in Queensland (QLD).

The offence of Cultivation includes;

Production/manufacturing includes:

Penalties the law proposes

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 25 years imprisonment

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 20 years imprisonment

If the court does not find a commercial purpose for the production the maximum penalty is;

$11,800 (100 penalty units.) and/or 3 years imprisonment if tried summarily in the Local Court

Aggravating Offences

The court will issue stiffer penalties where there was an aggravating circumstance. A general aggravating circumstance is these drug offences are committed close to children (under 18 years).

In such cases, the minors are never blamed nor be a defendant (offender) and receive any punishments the court issues to other offenders.

Other aggravating circumstances are Drug offences involving;

Penalties for Aggravated offences

Where the court feels there was an aggravating circumstance, including those not listed, it issues penalties up to;

$590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 25 years-life imprisonments.,

Proceeds of Crime

The Drugs Misuse Act 1986 also records an offence for possessing the proceeds of the crime. It doesn't matter whether they were gifts or goods. You may also be convicted of this offence if you try to hide the fact that such property was connected to the proceeds of the crime

The court imposes penalties up to; $590,000 (5,000 penalty units.) and/or 20 years of imprisonment.

Minor Drug offences and Diversionary programs

The Police or the courts may decide against convicting you of a drug offence if it was a lesser offence. In such cases, you will get a diversionary program instead of a conviction, and it does not show up in your Police Check.

The legislation for diversionary programs on Drug offences is governed by the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 and S. 379 and S. 791 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000.

You may be eligible for a diversion programme if;

The court will also impose lesser penalties in addition to the diversion programs. It is usually not more than $4,720 (40 penalty units)

Penalties for premises to be used for a drug crime

A person is guilty under the law If they own (allow) the property where a drug offence is committed.

You don't need to take part or benefit from the offence; you only have to be aware of the activity and allow it to occur on their premises. The legislation stipulates a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

Some examples of this type of offence are;

Police Search Powers

Under Section 18 of the Drug Misuse Act 1986, A Police officer may search premises, property, clothing or other personal properties or residences (with a search warrant) if they suspect on reasonable grounds the person/group are;

They can also request a person's personal information if they believe it will help them in investigating an offence. If the person refuses to cooperate, they can charge the person to court.

The penalty for refusing to provide useful information to the Police is;

Do drug offences appear on nationally coordinated criminal history checks in Queensland?

Drug offences and convictions are considered serious offences and will show up on a NCCHC police check result where there is a court conviction and no diversionary program.

Where applicable, the offence is disclosed in accordance with the spent convictions scheme of QLD (if the offence qualifies to be spent).

You can obtain your national criminal history check online via the Australian National Character Check (ANCC®) website.


Drugs Misuse Act 1986 -

Drug Misuse Regulation 1987 -

Criminal Code Act 1899 -

Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 -

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