Penalty for drug possession

In Victoria, drug possession is considered a serious offence and carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. The actual penalty may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

What are the circumstances that affect sentencing of drug possession?

An offence that merely involves a small quantity of cannabis (listed in the schedule of the DPCS act 1981 as 50 grams), where the court is satisfied that there was no trafficking occurring, will be liable to a fine of 5 penalty units.

Furthermore, where the offence involves other drugs or more than the small quantity, and the court is satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the offence was not committed by the person for any purpose relating to trafficking the maximum penalty will be 30 penalty units and up to one year in jail.

In any other case, the maximum penalty is 400 penalty units and up to five years imprisonment.

Of course, the maximum penalty is rarely imposed, and sentencing involves consideration of mitigating factors and personal circumstances that often serve to reduce sentences considerably.

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