Sydney Drug Lawyers for Drug Manufacture and Production of Prohibited Drugs

Drug Manufacture – s 24 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW)

It is an offence in NSW to do any one of the following:

  • Manufacture or produce a prohibited drug, or
  • Knowingly take part in the manufacture or production of a prohibited drug

It is also an offence to expose a person under the age of 16 years to the above Process, or to even expose a person under 16 years of age to substances that you store to manufacture or produce it.

To book a free first consultation with an experienced Drug Defence Lawyer, call us now on (02) 8606 2218.

Your Options in Court



You will be found not guilty to this charge if the police are unable to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, any of the following, concerning a prohibited drug:

  • You manufactured it, or
  • You produced it, or
  • You ‘knowingly took part in’ the manufacturing or production of it

When pleading not guilty, your drug defence lawyer should be highly experienced and provide accurate, practical and realistic advice on your available defences to prove your innocence.

Our specialist drug lawyers  give a special focus, and hold a proven track record, on getting charges dropped early. This can be achieved by a senior specialist defence lawyer carefully analysing the police evidence and finding all the holes in that evidence.

Defences to this charge

Some common defences available for this charge where you will be found ‘not guilty’ include the following:

  • Obtaining and transporting ingredients and implements to be then used in the manufacturing of a prohibited drug. This is considered taking steps preparatory to the process of manufacture, but not considered manufacturing.
  • Loading a vehicle with equipment for drug manufacture and then transporting it is not considered ‘taking part in the manufacture’.
  • Taking part in an attempt to manufacture a prohibited drug from substances that can’t produce that drug is not considered ‘taking part in the manufacturing’ of a prohibited drug.
  • Purchasing and having possession of some of the substances or materials out of which the relevant drug may be made where your actions are not part of a systematic or planned or pre arranged series of actions or operations.
  • Duress and necessity

Our highly experienced specialist drug defence lawyers are seniors, not juniors. They have tirelessly fought and won countless drug charges over the years with a high success rate. Speak to them for realistic and practical advice on your best defence by calling (02) 8606 2218.



Before pleading guilty, you should get immediate and realistic advice from a  highly experienced expert in these charges. If you do plead guilty, the following is some basic information on how to best prepare your case to maximise your chances at getting the most lenient possible punishment.

25% discount on punishment

You are entitled to a discount of up to 25% off the punishment if you plead guilty at the earliest possible opportunity in court. This is why it’s critical to get accurate, realistic and early expert advice when choosing whether to plead guilty or not. Getting the most discount possible will result in a much better outcome in court for you.

Good character references

A good character reference is a letter from the nearest and dearest to you who write about your good character, remorse and insight into your offending actions. The Judge will read this before giving you a punishment which is why it is important to be guided on who to get each character reference from, what things to include in it and how many you need. This can result in you getting a lighter punishment.

Our highly experienced lawyers regularly review and guide their clients in the preparation of character references.

Negotiating to drop charges

Your charges always have some potential to be either dropped or downgraded to a lesser serious charge attracting a much more lenient punishment with a much better outcome.

This is often achieved by reading and carefully analysing the police evidence while picking all the problems in the evidence. It then involves developing the best strategic approach when first approaching police to negotiate your charges to maximise your chances at achieving this successfully.

With a high success rate and proven track record, our expert defence lawyers specialise and focus on this avenue with each case they take on. They have successfully achieved this for countless of their clients charges over many years.

Negotiate facts

Like charges, the police facts which are initially drafted by police, can be negotiated and changed to express what really happened while putting you in a much better light when read by the Judge before the Judge gives you your punishment. This results in a much lighter punishment and better outcome.

Often you can change the weight of the drug to be reduced to the real weight after the drug certificate comes back from the laboratory.

Psychologist reports

A well written psychologist or psychiatrist report from an experienced expert can have a powerful effect on you getting a much more lenient punishment for the following reasons:

  • The Judge will be allowed to further reduce your punishment if the report expresses your diagnosis with a mental condition, such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia as an explanation for your offending actions.
  • These reports are a great way to express your remorse and insight into your offence allowing the Judge to show further leniency.
  • It is a great way to express your perspective of why you committed the offence giving an explanation, not justification which allows a further reduction.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty is not normally given and is reserved for the most serious of cases. The maximum punishment for this offence depends on the weight and type of drug involved and ranges to a maximum term of imprisonment of 2 years to life.

There can also be a fine given, which is rarely given, ranging from $5,500 to $550,000.

The following table shows the maximum punishments depending on weight and drug:

Drug and weight category

Prohibited Plant/Drug Small Quantity Trafficable Quantity Indictable Quantity Commercial Quantity Large Commercial Quantity
Amphetamine 1 g 3.0 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 kg
Cannabis Leaf 30 g 300 g 1000 g 25.0 g 100 g
Cannabis Oil 2 g 5 g 10 g 500.0 g 2 kg
Cannabis Resin 5 g 30 g 90 g 2.5 Kg 10 Kg
Cocaine 1 g 3 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 Kg
Heroin 1 g 3 g 5 g 250.0 g 1 Kg
Lysergic acid 0.0008 g 0.003 g 0.005 g 0.5 g 2 g
Methylamphetamine 1 g 3 g 5 g 250 g 1 Kg
MDMA/Ecstasy 0.25 g 0.75 g 1.25 g 125 g 500g

Maximum penalties depending on weight and drug

Quantity If Local Court If District Court In District Court (Cannabis plant/leaf)
Less than Small Quantity 2 years imprisonment and/or $5,500 fine


15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine 10 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine
More than Small Quantity but less than Indictable Quantity 2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine 15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine 10 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine
More than Indictable Quantity but less than Commercial  Quantity 2 years imprisonment and/or $11,000 fine. 15 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine 10 years imprisonment and/or $220,000 fine
More than Commercial Quantity but less than Large Commercial Quantity Cannot be dealt with in Local Court 20 years imprisonment and/or $385,000 fine 15 years imprisonment and/or $385,000 fine
More than Large Commercial Quantity Cannot be dealt with in Local Court Life imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine 20 years imprisonment and/or $550,000 fine

Types of penalties

There are a range of different kinds of punishment available for the Judge to give you which include the following:

Other factors Judge will look at when deciding on punishment

The kind and term of punishment you are given depends on the following factors the Judge will look carefully at before giving you a punishment:

  • Weight of the drug: The lighter the weight or quantity of the drug, the lighter the punishment will be. It is important to obtain a copy of the drug certificate to ensure the police facts the Judge will read expresses the real weight which is often less than what police initially weigh it as.
  • Level of your involvement: You will receive a much lighter punishment by the Judge if your involvement is more limited than someone who, for example, is higher up in the hierarchy of the drug manufacturing process.
  • Level of sophistication: The less sophistication involved in committing the offence will generally attract a lesser serious punishment. For example, you will likely receive a harsher punishment in manufacturing drugs if your conduct involves you arranging other people to attend to parts of the manufacturing through coded means and types of communication.
  • Period of offending conduct: Generally, the shorter period of time you committed the offence over, the lighter your punishment will be. Sometimes your charge will be the result of an undercover operation, or the result of what the police happen to find in your backyard after a search. It is important get quick advice from a drug lawyer before saying anything to police.



What does manufacture mean?

This includes the process of refining or extracting the prohibited drug.

It even includes manufacturing something with a view to then using it in the manufacture of a desired end product.


What does ‘knowingly take part in’ mean?

You are considered to have ‘knowingly taken part in the manufacture’ of a prohibited drug if you:

  • Take any steps, cause steps to be taken or participate in the process of manufacturing it.
  • Provide a place for the manufacture of it
  • Provide finance or arrange finance for the manufacture of it

Good Character Reference Guide for Court

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