Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re young and learning about the world, but some mistakes can have serious consequences. Being arrested for drug possession can have an effect on a young person’s future; depending on the severity of the charges. If you are arrested or held on drug possession charges, you need to hire a defence lawyer who has experience in handling drug cases.
Marijuana Possession in WA
Although marijuana laws have been modified in Western Australia, being in possession of certain amounts can still get you arrested. Anyone who is at least 14 years of age or older may receive an infringement notice if they are found in possession of 10 grams of cannabis or less. Being in possession of drug paraphernalia can also lead to receiving the infringement notice.
The notice is called a Cannabis Intervention Requirement, or “CIR,” and anyone who receives a CIR has to schedule and complete a Cannabis Intervention Session within 28 days. Juveniles from the ages of 14 to 17 years old can receive up to two infringement notices before they are prosecuted for drug possession. People 18 or over can only receive one CIR before they will be prosecuted on drug possession charges.
If you receive a notice, you have 28 days to sign up and complete a CIS and, if you do, you will not have to appear in court. The offence will not be held against you and you won’t have a conviction on your record. If you cannot complete the CIS within the allotted amount of time, you can apply for an extension and, if there are extenuating circumstances, it may be granted.
Ineligible for Intervention Notices
There are some people who would not be eligible to receive a CIR to avoid prosecution. Any adult who has already been convicted on minor cannabis charges, other serious drug offences, or any crimes involving violence or sexual offences would not be eligible to participate in the intervention program. Also, if you are charged with cultivating marijuana or are found to be in possession of cannabis plants, hash, hash oil, or any other cannabis derivatives, you will not be issued a CIR.
Convictions for Cannabis Possession
If you are found to be in possession of 10g or more of cannabis, you can be arrested if you are not eligible for a CIR. If convicted, you could face a fine of $2,000, go to jail for two years, or both. This penalty also applies if you’ve been convicted of possessing marijuana plants. If you are arrested for possession, you should contact a lawyer familiar with criminal law in Perth to defend you against the charges, especially if you’ve never had a CIR and are eligible to receive one.
Even if you are guilty of having marijuana in your possession when you were arrested, you shouldn’t face those charges alone. A lawyer can defend you by questioning the circumstances of your arrest to try to get the charges dismissed, or they can facilitate a fine as opposed to avoid being sent to jail for two years. As this part of the legal field is largely based on complex regulations and features dense legal verbiage, it’s important to have a professional on your side.