Life-long implications of festival drug offences

The shocking and highly publicised deaths of five young people during this summer’s festival season demonstrates the ongoing importance of educating young people on the grave health risks associated with party drugs.

This recent spate of tragedies has seen police dramatically increase their efforts to stamp out illegal drug use and possession at these events, a response that will most likely lead to more arrests, charges and court appearances. Almost 200 people were charged at the Field Day festival in Sydney, on 1 January and a further 110 people are due to face Gosford Court on drug charges following the Lost Paradise Festival here on the Central Coast.

Offences can relate to supply, trafficking and even drug-driving with the most common charge at music festivals being possession. Although possession is a less serious drug offence, any proven drug offence, no matter how minor, can lead to a conviction and therefore a criminal record. These can have devastating implications for the guilty party, both at work and play. Future job opportunities could well be compromised, given the majority of prospective employers now require full disclosure around criminal history. Some career options, especially in the public sector, will be completely ruled-out.

Entry to a host of popular overseas holiday destinations can also be denied on the basis of a conviction. The USA, Canada, Indonesia, Fiji and China are just some countries that could be off-limits.

Persons accused of drug-related offences are free to represent themselves before the court. But with so much at stake, would you truly be comfortable with a DIY approach?

Tonkin Drysdale Partners has an unblemished record representing people charged with possession offences at festivals for persuading the court to not record a conviction.

If you, or a family member, have been charged with a drug related offence at a festival, and are unsure about your legal rights and options, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help. A lapse of judgement or out-of-character life choice doesn’t have to result in a lifelong punishment.


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