The Offence of Unlawfully Possessing a Prescribed Restricted Substance in NSW

January 24, 2024by Naomi Cramer


While most individuals know that there are felony legal guidelines in opposition to possessing leisure drugs like MDMA, heroin and hashish in New South Auckland, it’s maybe much less generally recognized that possessing some pharmaceutical medicines with out a legitimate prescription can even quantity to a felony offence.

The next outlines the offences associated to ‘prescribed restricted substances’, together with the penalties and authorized defences that will apply.

What’s a prescribed restricted substance?

A prescribed restricted substance is a prescription-only therapeutic drug which has been criminalised by the Poisons and Therapeutic Items Act 1966 (NSW)(‘the Act’).

Prescribed drugs are listed underneath Appendix D of the Poisons and Therapeutic Items Regulation 2008 (NSW) (‘the Regulation’) and embrace:

  • Anabolic and androgenic steroids;
  • Most barbiturates and benzodiazepines;
  • Stimulants like ephedrine;
  • Human progress hormones; and
  • Varied different medicines which have potential for abuse.

The Appendix units out the minimal portions required for possession to change into a felony offence.  This is named the ‘prescribed amount’.

For instance, the prescribed amount for anabolic and androgenic steroidal brokers is 5 grams.

The offence of possessing a prescribed restricted substance in NSW

Part 16(1) of the Act incorporates the offence of possessing a prescribed restricted substance with out legitimate authority.

The offence requires the prosecution to show past an affordable doubt that:

  1. You had been in possession of a substance (possession which means you had custody or management of the substance),
  2. You knew or believed it was possible the substance was in your possession, and
  3. The substance was a prescribed restricted substance.

The utmost penalty for the offence is:

  • 2 years in jail and/or a effective of $2,200  if the offence pertains to an anabolic or androgenic steroidal agent; or
  • 6 months in jail and/or a effective of $2,200 for all different prescribed restricted substances.

Exceptions to the offence

Possession of a prescribed restricted substance is not going to be an offence if:

  • an individual has a sound prescription to own the substance;
  • an individual is a medical practitioner, optometrist, midwife, nurse practitioner, podiatrist, pharmacist, dentist or veterinary practitioner, and the particular person obtains possession or makes an attempt to acquire possession of it within the lawful apply of the particular person’s career;
  • an individual is aiding or offering delivering to any of the above professionals;
  • an individual has in any other case been authorised by the Well being Secretary to own the substance;

Offences regarding tried possession by fraud or deceptive illustration

Additional offences apply if a prescribed restricted substance is obtained by fraud or deceptive representations.

Part 16(2) of the Act outlines that an offence applies if an individual forges or fraudulently alters or utters any prescription for the needs of acquiring a prescribed restricted substance. This offence carries a most penalty of a effective of $2,200 or imprisonment for six months or each.

Part 16(3) of the Act outlines that an offence applies if an individual who, by a illustration that the particular person is aware of, or ought moderately to know, is fake or deceptive:

  • obtains, or makes an attempt to acquire, from a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, midwife practitioner, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist or veterinary practitioner a prescription that features a prescribed restricted substance; or
  • induces, or makes an attempt to induce, a pharmacist to dispense a prescription that features such a prescribe limit substance, figuring out the prescription to be cast or fraudulently altered; or
  • induces, or makes an attempt to induce, a pharmacist to dispense a prescription that features such a  prescribed restricted substance, figuring out the prescription to have been obtained by fraud; or
  • is in precise possession of a prescription that features such a substance, figuring out the prescription to be cast or fraudulently altered, or the results of a false or deceptive illustration.

This offence carries a most penalty of 6 months in jail and/or a effective of $2,200.

family: ‘Barlow Semi Condensed’, ‘Arial Slim’, sans-serif; font-size: 1.4rem; font-weight: 500;”>Difficult an allegation of possessing a prescribed restricted substance

There are a number of methods to problem a cost of possessing a prescribed restricted substance, together with:

  • Placing the prosecution to proof; in different phrases, making them show every ingredient (ingredient) of the offence past an affordable doubt. For instance, the ingredient of possession requires the prosecution to show the the merchandise was in your custody or management, and that you simply knew it was there or possible there, and that your possession was ‘unique’ (which could be troublesome for them to show if it was present in a standard space of a house, the boot of a automotive or some other place that was accessed by others). The prosecution additionally must show the amount of the substance with out packaging was no less than the prescribed amount.
  • Establishing that one of many many statutory exceptions to the offence utilized (as outlined above), and/or
  • Establishing {that a} common authorized defence utilized, similar to duress or necessity

Any proof of the drug being discovered may be excluded if there was some impropriety in the way it was detected or conveyed thereafter. So, for instance, the case could also be stopped in its tracks if the substance was discovered throughout an unlawful search or if the substance was not conveyed in the best method thereafter.

Going to court over a drug offence?

If you’re you going to court to contest a drug offence, name Sydney Criminal lawyers anytime on 9261 8881 to rearrange a free first convention throughout which certainly one of our skilled defence lawyers will assess your case, advise you of your choices and the easiest way ahead, and battle for the optimum consequence.



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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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