Under section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) it is an offence for a person to be in possession of a dangerous drug. The maximum penalty depends on the type of drugs, quantity of drugs, and whether the person was drug dependant, and ranges from 15 to 25 years imprisonment. Depending on the drug and circumstances, possession charges can be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, District Court and Supreme Court.
“Possession” is defined under the Criminal Code Act 1899 to include having under control in any place, whether for the use or benefit of the person of whom the term is used or of another person, and although another person has the actual possession of the thing in question. This has been expanded on by the Courts to include a physical possession or control with knowledge of that possession or control. Knowledge that the thing possessed is in fact a drug is not required, only knowledge that you possess the thing.
Possession can also include “deemed possession” under s 129(c) of the Act. This includes possession of an item not in your immediate actual possession or control but where you had knowledge or a reasonable suspicion of the presence of the substance and is commonly a result where drugs are found in common areas of a house that multiple people are occupying.
R v Phan  QCA 258, shows an example of deemed possession. The police raided a house owned and occupied by the appellant and located a quantity of heroin concealed in the study of the house inside of a wardrobe. Despite denying owning the heroin, it was found that the appellant would have had knowledge or a reasonable suspicion of its presence and he was found guilty of possession by a jury.
Other types of drug offences include:
Our team of criminal defence lawyers have experience with both simple and serious possession of dangerous drug charges at all levels of the Queensland Court System. For legal advice you can trust call us on 07 3229 4459 to speak a member of the team.
For more information on drug offences and the sentencing options available see: