Sentencing Guidelines For Supplying Drugs
Supplying drugs or possessing with intent to supply
These offences are serious and may lead to lengthy custodial sentences.
What drugs are illegal to supply?
Supplying a controlled drug is an offence. This includes more obvious examples such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamine. Class B and C drugs are also included such as some steroids and ketamine. Some of which you can legally possess but you cannot legally supply.
What does it mean to supply?
In this context, it means to provide or hand over drugs to somebody. This does not have to be for money in order for it to be considered supplying.
Passing drugs on to someone else for safe-keeping may not be supply (although even that is not clear cut), but if the person holding the drugs intends to return them to the first person, they may be guilty of possession with intent to supply.
The rules surrounding the possession of drugs are some of the most complicated within law.
How do you prove an intent to supply?
Admission is the easiest way to prove intent. Other ways include assessing the circumstances in which the drugs are held as well as the behaviour of the alleged offender.
Factors such as the quantity of drugs, drugs paraphernalia, “tick lists”/debtors’ lists, large amounts of cash and phone records will all be considered.
What about possession?
You must be in possession of the drug to have intent to supply.Anything in your physical custody or in your control is in your possession. You must know about the drugs, but you do not necessarily have to have them on your person or in your vehicle. Without sufficient evidence of intent to supply then the prosecution may accept a charge of possession.
What sentences are given?
A life sentence is the maximum for class A drugs, whilst for Class B and C it is 14 years imprisonment. An adult defendant with two or more previous convictions for trafficking Class A drugs will receive a minimum seven-year sentence, granted that it is fair to impose such a term.
The offence is aggravated for adults, if the offence is committed on or in the vicinity of school premises at a relevant time. “Relevant time” is referring to when the premises are in use by persons aged under 18 or within one hour of the start or end of such time. The offence is also aggravated if somebody under the age of 18 is used as a courier as part of the offence.
The sentencing court will use the specific sentencing guidelines for drug offences. You are more likely to receive a custodial sentence if you are involved with the supply of class A drugs. The Court will consider various factors. These include the quantities involved, the role you played, whether it is street dealing or a commercial enterprise and the amount of money made. Credit is given for a guilty plea.
Drugs offences attract some of the lengthiest prison sentences handed out in our courts.
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