Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to trafficking in dangerous drugs.

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on  55800120 for advice.

For more information on other drug charges, visit our DRUG OFFENCES HOMEPAGE

Trafficking in Dangerous Drugs – The Law

Section 5 of the Drugs Missuse Act 1986 creates the offence of trafficking in dangerous drugs.  The section provides:

A person who carries on the business of unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug is guilty of a crime.

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of trafficking, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. That a person carried on a business
  2. That the conduct was unlawful
  3. Trafficking
  4. Dangerous Drug

Carrying on a business

The prosecution must prove that you were carrying on the business of unlawful trafficking. Proof of carrying on a business requires the prosecution to establish acts performed as part of a business including negotiations, advertising, communicating with prospective buyers, so is living and receiving orders, arranging for places and times of delivery etc.

The business does not need to be a profitable one for the offence to be made out.


Trafficking has been held to mean knowingly engaging in the movement of drugs from source to ultimate user. Ordinarily it has an element of commercial enterprise.

Dangerous Drugs

Dangerous Drugs are defined in schedule 1 and schedule 2 of the Drugs Misuse Regulation 1987. The relevant quantities for particular drugs is defined in schedules 3 and or of the regulation.

Schedule 1 contains the more serious drugs including:

  • Amphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Heroine
  • Methylamphetamine
  • 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)

Schedule 2 contains the list serious drugs including:

  • Cannabis
  • Codeine
  • Diazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Temazepam

Maximum Penalty

If the dangerous drug is a things specified in the Drugs Misuse Regulations 1987, schedule 1 –   25 years imprisonment:

If the dangerous drug is a thing is specified in the Drugs Misuse Regulations 1987, schedule 2 – 20 years imprisonment.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of trafficking in a dangerous drug is an indictable offence. It will be heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of trafficking.  Generally a conviction would be recorded for this type of offence, although one is not inevitable.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.

For legal advice specific to your matter, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.