Manufacturing of a Controlled Drug Key Facts

Maximum Penalty

  • The maximum penalty for cultivating a large commercial quantity of cannabis is a fine of $500,000 or imprisonment for life, or both.

Possible Defences

  • were under duress;
  • have a factual dispute;
  • had a lack of intention;
  • identification dispute; or
  • suffer from a mental impairment.

What Is The Charge Of Manufacturing of a Controlled Drug?

A person who is involved in the manufacturing of a controlled drug for commercial purposes may be guilty of an offence [Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ss 305.3-305.5, 308.4]. Manufacturing controlled drugs for personal use is not regulated by the Commonwealth Criminal Code (it is however regulated under state law).

Controlled drugs include but are not limited to substances such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine, gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL), ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine or precursor chemicals such as pseudoephedrine. A full list of controlled drugs can be found in Schedule 3 of the Criminal Code Regulations 2002 (Cth).

What Is The Penalty For Manufacturing of a Controlled Drug?

The maximum penalties for manufacturing controlled drugs are:

  • Commercial quantity (usually measured in kilograms): Life imprisonment
  • Marketable quantity (usually measured in grams): 25 years’ imprisonment or 28 years’ imprisonment (if an aggravated offence)
  • Any quantity (i.e., less than a marketable quantity): 10 years’ imprisonment or 12 years’ imprisonment (if an aggravated offence)

The offence will be aggravated if, in carrying out the offence, a child under the age of 14 was exposed to the manufacture of a controlled drug.

The maximum penalties for possessing substance, equipment or instructions for commercial manufacture of controlled drugs is 7 years’ imprisonment.

What Are The Possible Defences For The Manufacturing of a Controlled Drug?

It may be a defence to the charge that you:

  • were under duress;
  • have a factual dispute;
  • had a lack of intention;
  • identification dispute; or
  • suffer from a mental impairment.

Charges may be downgraded to a lower charge if you can prove that at the time of the alleged offence you were under a mistaken belief about the quantity, or the type, of drug, plant or precursor [Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) ss 313.4, 313.5].

What the Prosecution Must Prove

The prosecution must prove that you:

  • Intended to manufacture a controlled drug for a commercial purpose;
  • Knew the substance was a controlled drug (or you were reckless to think otherwise);
  • Knew the quantity of the controlled drug was of a commercial quantity, marketable quantity or some quantity less than a marketable quantity, depending on the charge.

Case Studies For Similar Offences

We have defended thousands of criminal cases over many decades and constantly achieve outstanding results for our clients. Please view our results by clicking the cases below:

Cannabis

Cannabis

Reference: 1400542

Trafficking Methylamphetamine

Trafficking Methylamphetamine

Reference: 1500569

Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

Trafficking in a Controlled Drug

Reference: 1500054

Trafficking in a Commercial Quantity of a Controlled Drug

Trafficking in a Commercial Quantity of a Controlled Drug

Reference: 1600429

Trafficking Ecstasy

Trafficking Ecstasy

Reference: 1600725

Trafficking Ecstasy

Trafficking Ecstasy

Reference: 1800120

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