It is an offence to either possess or supply any prescribed equipment.
- The following list includes some examples of prescribed equipment (this is not the full list, if you have any questions as to whether an item is prescribed equipment please call our office for free advice)metal halide lights, high pressure sodium lights and mercury vapour lights of 400 watts or greater;
- ballast boxes;
- devices designed to amplify light;
- carbon filters; and
- cannabis buds or head strippers.
The maximum penalty for a basic offence, if the offender is a serious drug offender, is a fine of $20,000 or 5 years imprisonment, or both. In any other case, a fine of $10,000 or 2 years imprisonment, or both.
For an aggravated offence, the maximum penalty is a fine of $20,000 or 5 years imprisonment, or both.
The Equipment Was Not In Your Possession
In order to prove possession, the Prosecution must show that you:
- were in physical control of the equipment, and
- had the knowledge (or intention) of having the equipment.
You may have a defence to this charge if either of these elements are in doubt.
The Equipment Is Not Yours
It may be that the equipment may have been found in your possession, but you are, technically, not the owner. You may have a defence to this charge if there is evidence to suggest that, in fact, the equipment does not belong to you.
The Equipment Was Used For A Legitimate Purpose
The design of this legislation is, essentially, to prevent the hydroponic cultivation of prescribed plants. You may have a defence to this charge if it can be shown that the equipment was not being used being used in this capacity, but rather for a lawful purpose.
Honest And Reasonable Mistake Of Fact (Proudman vs Dayman Defence)
If it can be shown that you genuinely believed that the equipment was intended to be used for some purpose other than the cultivation of cannabis, and it was reasonable for you to hold that belief, you may have a defence to this charge.
The Prosecution must prove that:
- you were in possession of the prescribed equipment; or
- you supplied, or intended to supply, the prescribed equipment.
There are two elements to prove possession:
- being in physical control of the drug, and
- knowledge (or intention) of having the drug.
This matter will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.
Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has important implications and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer. Please come and see the helpful team at Caldicott Lawyers for assistance in your matter.
This legislation comes from section 33LA of the Controlled Substances Act 1984.