The Differences Between Legalisation And Decriminalisation Of Drugs

If you have used, or are using drugs, you might be fortunate enough to have never been arrested or convicted in relation to your drug use. In fact, many drug users go through years of drug use such as ice addiction, complete a comprehensive drug rehab program, and the irony is the first time they are ever stopped by police is when they are completely clean, but have a faulty brake light or go through a ‘Stop’ sign without stopping.

If you were to be stopped by the police in relation to drugs, how the course of events that follow will play out will very much depends on where you are. We do not mean what bar, street, or park you might be in, but in relation to the country or the state you happened to be in at the time you are stopped by the police.

The reason for this is that each country has its own views, and subsequently its own laws in relation to drugs. Often these laws differ within a single country where individual jurisdictions have differing attitudes and legislation relating to drugs. This can cause confusion not only for tourists and visitors to that particular area, but also for its own residents.

What to Do if You are Charged with a Crime

If you are charged with a crime you have the right to legal representation, so the first thing to do is contact criminal lawyers who can work with you to get the best result. Remember you don’t have to answer any police questions without your lawyer present, except to give your name and address.

While a criminal lawyer will advise you, you are the only one who can decide whether a plea of guilty or innocence should be given. Depending on what the offence was, you may be charged and released on bail. Otherwise, if not given bail you will have to remain in custody until the matter is settled.

If you plead guilty and are released on bail, you may be given the option to not appear in court. Your case can be heard without your presence and you’ll be notified by mail of the penalty. If you plead not guilty, the trial must go ahead and you will need to attend. You should always have a lawyer to represent you as they know the law and can speak on your behalf, saying things in your defence that you may not have thought of.

This can help to reduce your sentence and may even prevent you from going to gaol, always a goal to be attained if possible. Criminal lawyers can also bring up other things to make your life a little easier. For instance, if you are going to lose your driver’s licence but need it for work reasons, the lawyer can make a good case for you to be given a special licence that allows you to only drive to and from work.

Two Types of Bail

In Australia, criminal lawyers will tell you that even if you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that you can usually be released on bail until the trial date is due. Of course, this will depend on the severity of the crime you’ve been charged with.

There are two types of bail –

  • Police bail. When the police charge a person with an offence they have a fairly good idea whether or not it is safe for them to be out on bail. If it is deemed that they won’t intimidate witnesses, destroy evidence or abscond so you can’t be found again, the police will grant them ‘police bail’. There are likely to be certain restrictions on what the person can do and where they can go and a form must be signed agreeing  to this in order to gain freedom until the trial date.

Advice On Criminal Charges

Criminal charges are no walk in the park. There is always the possibility of time away from family as well as losing your job due to imprisonment. When faced with criminal charges, it means that the State or Commonwealth has brought an accusation against you. When you are charged or expecting to be charged with a criminal offence seeking immediate legal advice from criminal lawyers is the most important thing you can do.

With criminal charges, the stakes are usually high and you could be facing potential imprisonment, a fine or both. But if you approach the case well, you might be able to mitigate any charges against you and protect your interests.

Criminal prosecution in Australia
The proceeds of criminal charges differ from state to state. Although there are many similarities between jurisdictions, the laws are by no means uniform. Most of the criminal offences are prosecuted by the state and only a few fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Expiable offences
These include minor offences such as traffic violations. Generally you are given an expiation notice and a fine do not require you to attend court. However, you do not plead guilty, you will be prosecuted in court.