Drug Offence Lawyers Melbourne

JDA Law’s specialised solicitors provide quality advice and representation for drug related offences in Victoria

  • The possession, trafficking and manufacturing of certain drugs is illegal in Victoria
  • Depending on the drug type and amount, you may be at risk of receiving a criminal record or jail sentence so quality representation is highly important
  • Our expertise includes defending drug related charges of all levels of seriousness, including those prosecuted in both the Magistrates’ and County Court

Need immediate assistance in relation to an drug related charge or offence?

Call James Dowsley & Associates 24/7 on (03) 9781 4900

JDA Legal Criminal Law Expert Drug Offense

The Process of Drug Charges

Drug related charges are heard in a court of law so it is important to know what may occur.

Some of the steps you may experience include:

  • If you are charged with an offence you will receive a summons to attend court on a particular date
  • You will need to plead guilty or not guilty, or you may be able to admit to the charges and ask for a diversion
  • A Diversion program is only available for less serious charges and may allow you to avoid a criminal record
  • The judge will decide on the matter and clearly outline any penalties imposed

Qualified legal advice can allow you to make the most informed decisions at every step of the process.

Types of Drug Charges

Victorian drug laws are contained in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Drugs Act). The Act defines two types of illegal drugs:

  1. Drugs of dependence which can be possessed legally with a valid prescription, but are illegal to possess without a prescription.
  2. Drugs you can’t possess under any circumstance, such as:
    • Cannabis
    • Cocaine
    • Methamphetamine
    • Heroin

Some other chemical substances, as well as synthetic drugs and analogues of drugs are also included. An analogue of a drug is a modified version of a substance with similar chemical composition and use. 

Penalties for drug related crimes differ depending on the substance, amount, and crime committed. Generally, using and possessing small quantities of illegal drugs is treated as a more minor crime than trafficking and cultivating drugs. Commonwealth law covers the most serious crimes of importing and exporting drugs. 

See below for details on specific drug related charges in Victoria.

Drug Use and Drug Possession

Drug Use is defined by Victorian law as consuming an illicit substance. This may occur by swallowing, smoking, injecting, or other methods.

The maximum penalty for Cannabis use in Victoria is approximately $800. For other drugs it is approximately $5000 and/or one year imprisonment.

Read more
Cultivating and Manufacturing

It is illegal to grow, nurture, or harvest an illegal plant or to manufacture illicit substances. This includes watering, planting and picking the leaves of a cannabis plant.

If these plants are in your possession or on your property it is presumed they belong to you.

Read more
Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking is a serious offence that is often proved by witness of a sale, or police finding a trafficable amount or items prepared for trafficking.

Activities that constitute Drug Trafficking under Victorian law include:

Read more

Other Offences:

  • Forging a Prescription
  • Making a False Representation to Obtain a Drug or Script

Need a Criminal Lawyer in Melbourne for a Drug Related Charge?

Our phone line is open 24/7 for advice on drug related charges.
Call our criminal lawyers now: (03) 9781 4900.

Request a Free Consultation

Key contacts

Speak to our criminal law specialists
Adrienna Kisvarda
Adrienna Kisvarda
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
(03) 9781 4900 - adriennak@jdalaw.com.au
Kymberley Skillen
Kymberley Skillen
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
03 8788 5600 - kyms@jdalaw.com.au
Melainie Vinton
Melainie Vinton
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
03 8788 5600 - melainiev@jdalaw.com.au
Scott Kaiser
Scott Kaiser
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
Scott was admitted into the Legal Profession in September 2019
03 9781 4900 - scottk@jdalaw.com.au
Stacey Stanley
Stacey Stanley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - staceys@jdalaw.com.au
Ben Hanley
Ben Hanley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - benh@jdalaw.com.au
Lorna Williamson
Lorna Williamson
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
03 9781 4900 - lornaw@jdalaw.com.au
Anthony Maselli
Anthony Maselli
Criminal Defence Lawyer Melbourne
03 8602 1400 - anthonym@jdalaw.com.au
James Dowsley
James Dowsley
Principal & Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
James has been involved in the Criminal Justice System as a Lawyer for over 25 years and gained his Specialist Accreditation from the Law Institute of Victoria in 2002. Being a dedicated advocate for clients human rights, James has a passion for defending his clients in the Australian Courts.
03 8602 1400 - jamesd@jdalaw.com.au
Shaana Wilk
Shaana Wilk
Criminal Defence Lawyer Moorabbin/Highett
Since completing her Articles of Clerkship in Criminal Law and Commercial Litigation at Birch Ross & Barlow Solicitors, Shaana has practiced solely within the Criminal Law jurisdiction. Joining the JDA family in 2010, Shanna began her at our Frankston office. Since 2012 Shanna has been the sole solicitor at our Moorabbin/Highett office.
03 9555 4442 - shaanaw@jdalaw.com.au
Domenic Care
Domenic Care
Accredited Criminal Law Specialist – Criminal Defence Lawyer - Melbourne
Domenic Care joined James Dowsley & Associates in 2013. He appears regularly in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Children’s Court of Victoria for matters including plea hearings, contested bail applications and appeal hearings.
03 8602 1400 - domenicc@jdalaw.com.au
Kieran Reynolds
Kieran Reynolds
Accredited Criminal Law Specialist – Criminal Defence Lawyer
Kieran joined the JDA family in 2015 having worked at several large Criminal Law firms since 2004. He regularly appears in both the Magistrates Court and County Court in a diverse range of matters. Kieran was admitted as an Accredited Criminal Law Speciality in 2009 and has maintained his Specialist Accreditation every year since. He is committed to ensuring that the rights of his clients are upheld in court.
03 8602 1400 - kieranr@jdalaw.com.au
Brett Barratt
Brett Barratt
Criminal Defence Lawyer - Melbourne
Brett joined the JDA family in 2013 as a law clerk. He has since then worked as a paralegal at our Dandenong office between September 2015 and March 2016. Commencing as a Lawyer at our Frankston office in March 2016. He appears regularly on behalf of clients facing a range of summary and indictable criminal matters in the Magistrates’ Court. Brett also instructs counsel and assists in the preparation and running of complex indictable criminal cases in the County Court.
03 8602 1400 - brettb@jdalaw.com.au
Jackson McLeod
Jackson McLeod
Criminal Defence Lawyer Frankston
Having previously interned at the Victorian Law Reform Commission, JobWatch Victoria and Refugee Legal and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Jackson has dedicated his career to providing access to justice to those who need it most. He regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court and has instructed in the County Court. Jackson applies his keen attention to detail and broad knowledge of the law to all of his matters, and capably and professionally handles pleas, bail applications and case conferences at the Magistrates’’ Court.
03 9781 4900 - jacksonm@jdalaw.com.au
Bridie O’Malley
Bridie O’Malley
Criminal Defence Lawyer Dandenong
Bridie joined the JDA family in 2014 commencing as a volunteer law student, assisting in the formation of our Intervention Order section. Graduating to become a paralegal at our Dandenong office in 2016 and joining our team of lawyers in 2017.
03 8788 5600 - bridieo@jdalaw.com.au
Sally Abel
Sally Abel
Business Manager
03 8788 5600 - aghk@jdalaw.com.au
Lucy Mcphail
Lucy Mcphail
Office Manager
03 8788 5600 - lucym@jdalaw.com.au