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Criminal Law News VIC

Young Drug Offenders in Victoria

Drug offences committed by young people in Victoria can have serious consequences

There are five ways young people can commit a drug offence in Victoria. They are all serious but some are more serious than others. This article will guide you through the problems that young offenders can experience when they become involved with illicit drugs.

Use of illicit drugs

Using an illicit drug is the most common way that young people violate drug laws in Victoria. Using a drug means consuming the drug by smoking it, snorting it, injecting it, or otherwise causing the drug to enter your body.

It is also illegal in Victoria to administer an illicit drug to someone else. If you inject heroin into a friend’s vein from a syringe, you are committing a crime even if you did not use the drug yourself.

Possession of illicit drugs

It is illegal to possess an illicit drug whether or not you intend to use it. Possession means having control of a drug. Two or more people can possess the same drug if they all have the right to use or control the drug.

You can possess a drug even if it is not on your person. If you put drugs in your locker and you have a key to the locker, you are possessing the drugs because you have the ability to control them.

Sometimes drugs are found in someone’s residence, car, or other property that do not belong to the owner of that property. In those cases, you should not be held responsible for drug possession, but you might be required to prove that the drugs are not yours.

Cultivation of illicit drugs

Cultivating refers to growing plants that produce drugs, including marijuana and poppies that produce opium. Cultivation refers to any phase of production, including planting, growing, tending, guarding, and harvesting plants, as well as extracting drugs from plants.

Trafficking illicit drugs

Trafficking usually means selling, but any transfer of possession of illicit drugs to another person can be charged as trafficking.  It is not necessary to receive money or other compensation for the drugs. Offering to give or sell illicit drugs to another person is also considered trafficking, even if the drugs are never delivered.

Possession of a large quantity of drugs can also be regarded as trafficking. Depending on the amount, whether the drug was for personal use or intended for sale may be a matter that can be contested in court. Possession of very large quantities of illicit drugs, however, will almost always be regarded as trafficking.

Conspiracy

A conspiracy is an agreement to do an illegal act involving illicit drugs. The agreement can involve any of the crimes described above. You can be found guilty of conspiracy even if you did not personally carry out all aspects of the crime.

Penalties

A range of penalties can be imposed upon young people who commit drug offences. Depending on the drug and the nature of the crime, they can range from a caution or mandatory drug treatment to more serious consequences, including fines and a loss of freedom.

Having any involvement with illicit drugs is a serious matter. If you or your child are caught with illicit drugs or charged with a drug crime, you should contact a lawyer immediately.

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