Police diversion program
This diversion program relates to persons arrested for or being questioned in relation to a minor drug offence involving cannabis (i.e. possession of a small amount of cannabis, not more than 50 grams, or an associated item such as a bong). The diversion program offers people apprehended for minor drug offences access to professional health intervention, education about the wide-ranging effects and consequences of cannabis use. It also offers assistance to stop using cannabis as an alternative to proceeding through the usual court processes. To be eligible, a person is required to admit to the offence in an electronically recorded interview but not before talking to their legal representative.
If you are charged with trafficking a dangerous drug for profit you could face up to 25 years imprisonment. If you are going to court for a drug-related offence, no matter the severity, get legal advice as soon as possible.
Court ordered drug diversion
In certain cases, the court, upon application and eligibility, may order you to attend a drug diversion program within a certain period of time. The court may also require you to be of good behaviour for a considerable period of time so as to not commit further offences. By complying with the court’s orders a conviction may not be recorded.
You can be charged with possession of a drug even if you don’t own it and haven’t used it. A flatmate or friend might have left their drugs in your car or house and when found by police will result in you being charged, even though the drugs are not yours.
Australia still has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty and it is the job of the Prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. Take advantage therefore of your right to remain silent until your lawyer arrives. Anything a person says to police, whether in a formal interview or not, may be used in evidence against that person at their trial.
You may refuse to partake in an interview with police, however, it is an offence to withhold your name and address from police when requested.
As a number of factors influence behaviour when one consumes alcohol it is important to demonstrate to the court that your personal circumstances either contributed to your alcohol consumption or the reading that was detected. Certain medications have an adverse effect on blood alcohol readings, which can be relevent for drink driving offences.