In Victoria, the Cultivation of Narcotic Plants is a serious criminal offence which may lead to prison sentences and fines of varying degrees. Although there are other types of narcotic plants, charges generally relate to cannabis.
The quantity of narcotic plants involved determines the seriousness of the charge, i.e.
- A Non-Commercial Quantity is defined as fewer than 100 plants with a net weight of less than 25 kg. This charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment. However if the court is satisfied that there is no intention to traffic, the maximum penalty is 1 years’ imprisonment with a fine of 20 penalty unit.
- A Commercial Quantity means between 100 and 999 plants weighing in total between 25 kg and 249.99 kg. Here, the charge carries a maximum level 2 imprisonment penalty, equivalent to 25 years.
- A Large Commercial Quantity is 1000 or more plants with a total weight of 250 kg or more. In this instance, as a maximum sentence, the court could impose life imprisonment along with a fine of up to 5000 penalty units.
What is the legal process?
To establish the Cultivation of Narcotic Plants offence, all four of the following must be proved in court beyond reasonable doubt:
- was found to have cultivated a narcotic plant
- was neither licensed nor authorised to cultivate a narcotic plant
- held the intention to cultivate a narcotic plant
- possessed a quantity of the narcotic plant for drug dependence that is:
- less than the commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Non-Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72B)
- not less than and not more than the commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72A)
- not less than the large commercial quantity for the charge of Cultivation of Narcotic Plants – Large Commercial Quantity (subject to legislation Section 72)
How Furstenburg Law can help
If you have been charged with a Cultivation of Narcotic Plants offence, it is imperative that you contact a criminal law specialist immediately. Why? Because if not properly handled, this charge could result in very serious consequences.
At Furstenburg Law, we specialise in criminal law and have expert knowledge of the defence strategies that can be effectively deployed. Remember that it up to the prosecution to conclusively prove that you had the intention to cultivate a certain quantity of narcotic plants.
As we have done on numerous occasions, we can offer you powerful legal representation, give professional advice about your expected prospects of defending your charge at trial, and help negotiate a lesser charge whenever possible.
Our commitment is to ensure the best outcome possible and that you receive a fair trial. Put your case in skilful hands. Call us today at (03) 9131 2000 or simply click the button below.