What court will hear the matter
An offence that deals with trafficable quantities must be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court of South Australia as a summary offence unless it is decided that the sentence should be greater than 2 years in which case it will be committed to the District Court of South Australia.
What the prosecution must prove
The prosecution must prove that:
- you were in possession of a controlled plant; and
- you had been involved in the cultivation of the controlled plant.
There are two elements to prove possession:
- being in physical control of the drug; and
- knowledge (or intention) of having the drug.
There are a range of possible defences including, but not limited to, the following:
- it is not cannabis;
- you did not know it was cannabis;
- the plants were dead;
- the plants did not have a root system;
- you did not take part in the process of cultivation;
- it was only 1 plant.
Deciding whether or not to plead guilty has significant implications and should be made after discussing your case with our lawyers. If you decide to plead guilty to the offence, our lawyers can assist you to get the best possible results.
The maximum penalty for a cultivation offence varies depending on the number of plants that you have. For sentencing purposes cultivating cannabis plants are classified as follows:
- large commercial quantity - 100 plants
- commercial quantity - 20 plants
- trafficable quantity - 10 plants
The maximum penalty for cultivating more than 5 plants is a $2,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment or both.
The maximum penalty for cultivating more than 1 plant but less than 5 plants is a $1,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment or both.
The maximum penalty for cultivating a trafficable quantity of cannabis is a $75,000 fine or 15 years imprisonment or both.
The maximum penalty for cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis is a $500,000 fine or life imprisonment or both.
The maximum penalty for cultivating a large commercial quantity of cannabis is a $500,000 fine or life imprisonment or both.