Our client is a 23 year old man who resides in Queensland. Last month, he headed down to NSW to attend the well known Defqon 1 Music Festival held in Penrith, NSW with a group of friends.
Among numerous others who attended, our client was brought to police attention when he was detected by a police drug detection dog outside the front ticketing gates.
Our client had in his possession 4.6 grams of MDMA (6 capsules) which was located in his underwear at the time.
The quantity of drugs that our client had fell well beyond the Indictable quantity range. When questioned by the police, he denied having drugs in his possession and instead stated that he had lolly-pops located in his underwear.
After being escorted by police and strip searched, he was subsequently charged for Possessing Prohibited Drugs pursuant to section 10(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985. This charge carries a criminal record and a maximum penalty of a $2,200 fine and/or 2 years imprisonment if convicted.
Our client contacted our team of criminal defence lawyers and sought immediate advice and guidance on how to best prepare his case to avoid a criminal record against his name after pleading guilty to this charge. He had studied for many years and after completing his apprenticeship, he was offered a full time position in aviation at an airport. In his line of work, our client is required to have a particular security licence which is subject to background checks. This was of particular concern for him and meant that if he was criminally convicted of this offence, he would no longer meet the requirements of this licence and immediately lose his job.
Our specialist criminal lawyer, Tayla Regan guided him throughout the entire process. This involved advice for him to gather and provide a list of numerous subjective materials to prepare the strongest case possible in order to convince the Magistrate to consider giving him leniency. The preparation proceed included, providing him feedback on the material he gathered to ensure it complied with correct format and to ensure that it addressed critical points. The advice also included recommending him with an appropriate counselling service that are familiar to magistrates, and researching and locating clauses in his employment contract that would demonstrate the effect a conviction would have on his career.
Our client lived in Queensland, while his initial court was at Penrith Local Court. Due to the distance, our team were able to transfer the matter from Penrith local court to Tweed Heads Local Court to be closer to where he lives.
On the first court date at Tweed Heads Local Court, a plea of guilty was entered to the charge and various subjective materials were handed up to the court. The materials included a letter of apology, good character reference letters from his friend, partner and previous employer, a letter from SMART Recovery Program showing he has taken steps to rehabilitation, and his employment contract.
Tayla gave compelling submissions on behalf of our client. The submissions emphasised on his early plea of guilty, clean criminal record, his good character, good prospects of rehabilitation and unlikeliness to re-offend.
The Magistrate ultimately agreed and decided not to impose a criminal conviction on him. Instead, he was sentenced to a 12 month Conditional Release Order without conviction. This means that he will not lose his job and he now has the chance to move on with his life conviction free.