In today’s society, the perception of cannabis has deviated from what was once a wholly negative reputation. As a society, people are curious to try new things. It is in our very nature as human beings to explore and seek different experiences. However, it must be remembered that cannabis is still an illegal drug which is taken very seriously by the Courts.

In fact, possession of Cannabis is a criminal offence pursuant to section 10(1) of the Drug Trafficking and Misuse Act 1985 (NSW) (‘The Act’ hereafter) which carries the maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and/or 20 penalty units.


Our client came to National Criminal Lawyers® scared and frightened about how a momentary lapse in judgement could lead to a lifetime of regret, or worse, imprisonment. Our client was charged with possession of 30 grams of cannabis which is considered a serious offence by the Courts. Normally, offenders who have been found with large amounts of an illegal substance can be charged with ‘deemed supply’ which is a much more serious offence in the eyes of the law. Click here for more information on the difference between supply and possession of a prohibited drug. Our office is well-known for achieving these great results as recently our office received a section 10(1)(a) dismissal for possession of cannabis.

Our client left Court with their head held high after the Court dealt with the matter by way of a conditional release order without conviction. The result that was obtained for our client  was the best possible result we could have hoped for. In our case, the result was not achieved by mere luck or hope, but a combination of persuasion and addressing the Court to the relevant material tailored to our clients case.

Mr. Semaan of our office put to the Court the advantages of a conditional release order without conviction and the benefits it can provide to not only the offender, but also to the community. Mr. Semaan was bold enough to say to the Local Court Magistrate:

“I am not going to bore Your Honour with the everyday submissions that you hear about remorse and contrition”.

It was at this point that Mr. Semaan grasped the attention of the Court to show that these submissions were unique from the bulk of previously made submissions. It was put to the Court that the purpose of sentencing should be the paramount factor that is considered before a sentence is handed down.


It is important to know what the purpose of sentencing is.

Section 3A of the Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 (NSW) states the following:

“The purposes for which a court may impose a sentence on an offender are as follows:

(a) to ensure that the offender is adequately punished for the offence,

(b) to prevent crime by deterring the offender and other persons from committing similar offences,

(c) to protect the community from the offender,

(d) to promote the rehabilitation of the offender,

(e) to make the offender accountable for his or her actions,

(f) to denounce the conduct of the offender,

(g) to recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime and the community”.

It was mentioned above that a conditional release order without conviction can benefit the community. The reason for that is simply this, the Court can impose conditions which can denounce the offender and protect the community.

In this case, an offender has been charged with possession of a prohibited drug. Therefore, it is appropriate to impose the following conditions:

  • Not to commit any further offences;
  • To refrain from taking illicit drugs;
  • To attend a rehabilitation program such as the SMART program; and
  • Attend Court if called upon to do so.

This is extremely effective because it tells the Court that the offender’s rehabilitation is high, they are extremely unlikely to re-offend, and the offender is denounced. In turn, the community is protected.

It is important to tell the Court how the community will benefit from the conditional release order. In our client’s case, it was put to the Court that the offender is a teacher. Rather than being a threat, it was put to the Court that the offender is an asset to the community.

The submissions must be structured, logical and not far-fetched. Most importantly, they must persuade. The prosecution was left with little to say. As a result, the Court imposed a conditional release order without conviction with the basic conditions mentioned above.

Our client could finally relax and breathe without this stress. We acted quickly and efficiently. Within one month since the day of the offence, National Criminal Lawyers® was able to finalise the matter with the best result possible.

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