Drug Driving

Drug driving is the act of operating or attempting to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance. A roadside drug test can be conducted randomly, and a saliva sample is collected. If the roadside drug test reveals the existence of illicit substances in your system, police may prosecute you with drug driving.


The roadside drug test takes a saliva sample and can detect the presence of:


  • cannabis
  • ecstasy or MDMA
  • cocaine
  • methamphetamine (ice or speed).

The consequences of drug usage vary greatly, depending on the type and concentration of the substance ingested.

Drug driving is an offence under Section 111 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW) which carries a maximum penalty of a 6-month disqualification and a fine of $2,200.


Furthermore, the maximum penalty for a second offence is a $3,300 fine and a 12-month disqualification period, which the court might reduce to six months or raise indefinitely.

To be found guilty of drug driving, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:


  1. You drove a motor vehicle, or attempted to put it in motion or are in possession of a valid driver’s licence and were sitting in the front passenger seat next to a learner driver who was driving, and
  2. Your saliva, blood, or urine contained a prescribed illicit drug.

It is not necessary to have been under the effects of the drug when you were driving, so even a very small amount is sufficient to substantiate the charge.

The possibility of defence would be an honest and reasonable error of fact against allegations of driving while under the influence of an illegal substance.


If you intend to plead guilty, you can increase your chances of achieving a favourable verdict by;


  1. Obtaining character references
  2. Completing a traffic offender programme
  3. writing an apology letter

Sentencing Options NSW



If you plead guilty to an offence, you will be sentenced by a Court. Sentencing options in NSW is governed by the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The general sentencing principles for the purposes of sentencing are set out in section 3A. It is as follows;


a)           To ensure that the offender is adequately punished for the offence;

b)           To prevent crime by deterring the offender and other persons from committing similar offences;

c)           To protect the community from the offender;

d)           To promote the rehabilitation of the offender;

e)           To denounce the conduct of the offender; and

f)            To recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime and the community.


There are numerous other factors taken into account by the Court when imposing sentence. 


For most non-complex sentences, our criminal law firm offer fixed fee services.


If you wish to obtain legal advice regarding a sentence, you should contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer at our firm on (02) 7205 5944.


Below is an outline of the types of sentence options of the Court in New South Wales;


Section 10


1.           10(1)(a) – a court may find a person guilty of an offence, not record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed without penalty; or

2.           10(1)(c) – a court may find a person guilty of an offence, not record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed on the condition that the person enter into an agreement to participate in an intervention program and to comply with any intervention plan arising out of the program.


Section 10A


Section 10A refers to a section of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act which allows a magistrate finds a person guilty of an offence, record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed without further penalty.




Certain offences are fine only offences; however other offences will likely carry a possible of a fine as well as other sentencing alternatives. A fine only will usually not result in a criminal record.


Conditional Release Order (CRO) (with or without a conviction)


Conditional Release Order can deal with first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community.


The benefit of CROs is that the court can impose conditions such as drug and alcohol abstention, programs, non-association requirements or place restrictions where appropriate. CROs can also have a supervision condition. Courts have discretion to impose a conviction on a CRO, if they consider it appropriate.


CROs can be imposed for a period of up to two years. If an Individual commits any further offences while on a CRO, subsequent penalties may be more severe.


Community Correction Order (CCO)


Community Correction Order is used by the Court for offenders for crimes that do not warrant imprisonment or an ICO, but are too serious to be dealt with by a fine or lower penalty.


The benefit of CCOs is that they are a flexible sentence that the court can tailor to reflect the nature of the offender and the offence. The court can select from the range of conditions, such as supervision by Community Corrections Officers, community service work (up to 500 hours) and curfews, to hold offenders to account and reduce their risk of reoffending. CCOs can be imposed for a period of up to three years.


Deferral of sentence for rehabilitation participation, intervention program or other purposes.


The Court may, on application or on its own accord, adjourn any matter for a maximum of 12 months to assess an individual’s capacity for rehabilitation or to enable a rehabilitation or intervention program to occur.


Intensive Correction Order (ICO)


An ICO is a custodial sentence of up two years that the court decides can be served in the community.


Supervision is mandatory. Courts can add conditions to an ICO such as home detention, electronic monitoring, curfews, community service work (up to 750 hours), alcohol/drug bans, place restrictions, or non-association requirements. Offenders may also be required to participate in programs that target the causes of their behaviour.


For more serious breaches, offenders will continue to be referred to the State Parole Authority (SPA) and may be required to serve the remainder of their sentence in custody.


The ICO is the most serious sentence that an offender can serve in the community. ICOs are not available for offenders who have been convicted of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, any sexual offence against a child, offences involving discharge of a firearm, terrorism offences, breaches of serious crime prevention orders, or breaches of public safety orders.


A domestic violence offender can only be sentenced to an ICO if the court is satisfied that the victim or likely co-residents can be adequately protected. For example, a domestic violence offender is not eligible for an ICO with a home detention condition if they are intending to reside with the victim.


Full Time Imprisonment


The court may impose a full-time custodial sentence.e se 


If the police have charged you or a loved one, you must attend court. Appearing in court for a criminal charge is usually daunting. Let us help you make the process easier. Here are 10 reasons to choose our team of criminal lawyers from Lyons Law Group;


Result-focused criminal lawyers 


Our team will work to achieve the best result for you in the shortest time possible. However, we do aim to provide quality over quantity service to you. Our criminal lawyers appear in all criminal and traffic matters, including trials, sentencing, bail applications, and apprehended violence orders. We are a result-focused firm of lawyers.

At Lyons Law, we do not make any unrealistic promises for results. You will be advised on the most realistic results achievable in your case, including acquittals of all charges against you. Nevertheless, you can be sure that our team will work extremely hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you.


Proven Track Record


Our experienced defence lawyers are passionate about representing their clients and achieving the best outcome. Lyons Law is a team of solicitors who are dedicated, and with our support staff, you can be confident of the highest quality of legal representation. We have an exceptional track record of results. We provide our outstanding client service at an affordable rate for our clients.


Fixed Fees


We always let our clients know how much their cases will cost from the beginning. This makes it easier for them to decide whether or not they want to proceed with the case. Not only do we offer fixed fees for many types of criminal cases and services, but also free first phone consultations. In addition, our firm offers fixed fees applicable to a wide range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, fraud, drug possession, assault, and AVOs.


Free First Conference


For all of those individuals who are going to court, we offer a free first 15-minute phone conference with one of our senior criminal defence lawyer. It is best you email our office all your relevant documents before a conference so criminal lawyers can provide the best advice within that time frame.


Highly experienced criminal defence lawyer


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of criminal lawyers. Our team is led by Mohammad Khan, who is one of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney. He has represented clients in some of Australia’s most high-profile cases and was under the direct tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda.


Moreover, our team has worked and successfully represented clients on highly complex trials and sentences in NSW.


Work closely with Australia’s leading criminal law barrister


We work closely with some of Australia’s leading criminal law barristers. Barristers are usually instructed in more serious matters, and their experience and input can be invaluable to your case. The barristers we regularly instruct range from Queen’s counsels, Senior counsels and highly experienced junior-senior counsels.


Specialist for District and Supreme Court trials


Our team of sydney criminal lawyers have worked on numerous District and Supreme Court trials in NSW. We have worked on extremely complex criminal law trials that require impeccable preparation and understanding of the law.


Specialist for bail applications in NSW


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of bail lawyers. We have regularly obtained bail for clients for extremely serious charges that carry life sentences. For types of charges, bail is usually denied by a Court.


In house Experts


Our criminal lawyers have in-house investigators with decades of law enforcement experience and assist our team with process service, background checks, integrity testing, investigations, surveillance, and bug detection.


For the preparation of jury trials and defended hearings, these services can be utilised on behalf of our client to achieve the best result.


Appearance at all Courts in NSW


From Broken Hill to Waverly, our criminal lawyers appear in all courts throughout New South Wales.


If you wish to contact us or book your first free 15-minute phone conference, contact us on 0404479096 or send us an email at info@lyonslaw.com.au.

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