Cultivate Prohibited Plant – s 23 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985
Our specialist drug defence lawyers are extremely well versed in the law and considered leaders in drug law with a special focus and proven track record on getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage.
Speak to a senior specialist drug lawyer now for realistic and practical advice on thorough preparation on your case and your options in court. They can provide immediate advice on your best defences, and begin preparation straight away.
Call us now on (02) 8606 2218 to book a free first consultation with an experienced Drug Defence Lawyer.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
Before you can be found guilty, the police must first prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:
- Cultivated prohibited plants, or
- Supplied prohibited plants, or
- Had possession of prohibited plants
If charged for cultivating prohibited plants, it would be advisable to plead not guilty if it appears the police are unable to prove any one of the elements of the offence.
You can still be guilty even if you were found cultivating the illegal plant on someone else’s property.
You will be found not guilty for cultivating if any one of the following apply to you:
- You were honestly and reasonably unaware that the plants were illegal
- You were forced with threats or other means to cultivate the plants
- You did not cultivate the plants
- The plant is not a prohibited plant
- The prohibited plant is less than commercial quantity, where charged with cultivation of more than commercial quantity
- Where charged with cultivation of prohibited plant for commercial purpose by enhanced indoor means of the plant alleged to be more than small quantity but less than commercial quantity, you will be not guilty if:
-The cultivation did not occur inside a building or you did not nurture or promote its growth in any way
-You had no intention of selling it, or you were unaware that anyone else intends to sell it
-The plant is less than small quantity
Focus on getting charges dropped early
Our specialist drug defence team have developed an emphasis and talent in getting drug charges dropped at an early stage. Their focus is on first analysing the police evidence and then strategically negotiating with police to get charges dropped. Our specialist lawyers have achieved this on countless occasions, and continue to do so.
If pleading guilty to this offence, it is critical to speak to an experienced specialist drug lawyer first. They will provide practical and realistic advice on how to best prepare and present your case maximising your chances at the best outcome possible. Below are some points you should know when preparing your case.
25% discount on punishment
Pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity gives you a 25% discount off the punishment contributing to a better, lenient punishment. This is why it’s important to seek professional experienced advice as early on in the case as possible.
Good character references
You will likely be appearing before a Judge, for the first time, who knows nothing about you. Our lawyers will guide, review and provide feedback and advice on the best people to get character references from so that each reference letter is perfected before handing it to the Judge.
Our specialist drug lawyers are seen and reviewed thousands of reference letters and are in the best position to guide you on what things to comment on and what things not to express in each reference, tailoring each one to your circumstances resulting in a better outcome.
Negotiate to drop charges
We believe that every charge has potential to be negotiated by getting it dropped or downgraded to a less serious charge causing a much better outcome on your punishment, and even avoiding prison.
Our senior drug lawyers have developed a highly specialised skill over the countless drug charges they have convinced police to drop for their clients for over 20 years.
This proven track record continues to this day with pure commitment, dedication and hard work. Our team of drug lawyers will carefully analyse and pick out all the problems in the police evidence before approaching the police or DPP on dropping or downgrading the charges.
Aside from charges, police facts that the Judge will read before deciding on your punishment can also be negotiated and changed to something more favourable to your case painting you in a much better light, and with facts that reflect what actually happened. This usually always results in a much better and more lenient sentence.
This is often achieved by our senior drug lawyers carefully analysing the police evidence, knowing your case inside out, before developing a unique tactful approach.
A powerful psychologist or psychiatrist report often significantly improves the outcome with a much more lenient punishment for the following reasons:
- It can express a professional opinion of your mental condition such as depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder etc. This opinion, coming from an expert, allows the Judge to give you a much more lenient punishment than someone who is not suffering such a condition.
- It is one of the best ways to express your remorse and contrition for your offending conduct. This allows the Judge to further reduce your punishment.
- It is a great way to tell the story of what happened and why you did it from your perspective. This can provide an explanation, not an excuse, which allows the Judge to further reduce your punishment.
For maximum effect in court, our team of senior drug lawyers have carefully hand selected the most respected and experienced psychologists and psychiatrists recognised as leaders in the industry in Australia.
The following table tells the maximum punishment available depending on the number of plants and type of plant. The maximum is usually given only to the worst of cases. Courts rarely give the maximum and the Judges use it as a guide.
Categories and punishments based on the number of prohibited plants
Quantity Decided in Local Court Decided in District Court In District Court IF NOT Cannabis Plant/Leaf 5 or less plants $5,500 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 10 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment 5 – 50 plants $11,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 10 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment 50 – 250 plants $11,000 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 10 years imprisonment $220,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment 250 – 1000 plants Cannot be decided in Local Court $385,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment $385,000 fine and/or 20 years imprisonment 1000 plants or more Cannot be decided in Local Court $550,000 fine and/or 20 years imprisonment $550,000 fine and/or life imprisonment
There is what the law calls a standard non parole period (SNPP) of 19 years imprisonment for 1000 plants or more. This is the standard period of time of imprisonment the Judge is guided to apply for this quantity of plants. However, this SNPP is only used as a guide, and not strictly applied, much like the maximum punishment is used as a guide only.
Types of punishment
Judges prefer to avoid sending people to full time prison, that is why there are other alternatives to prison. The following are the different types of punishment, including prison. The above discussed points and more, helps the Judge figure out which type of punishment to give you:
- Full time prison
- Home Detention
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Suspended Sentence
- Community Service Order
- Good behaviour bond
- Section 10. No criminal record
What does cultivate mean?
Cultivate includes doing things to the plant that will promote its growth such as watering it. It includes sowing or scattering the seed produced by the plant; It also includes planting it, growing it, tending it, nurturing it, harvesting it.
What does prohibited plant mean?
A prohibited plant includes cannabis plant, any growing plant of the genus Erythroxylon or any species of the Papaver bracteatum.