What is Possession with intent to supply (PWITS)?

Possession with intent to supply (PWITS) is when a person has been caught with controlled drugs and it’s believed that the intention was then to supply these on to any other person. The intention does not need to be for any financial gain so even if it was just to give some to a friend, it could be classified as PWITS. Police will often charge with PWITS if there are any of the following:

  • There is witness testimony or surveillance indicating intent to supply.
  • The quantity of drugs is substantial, making it improbable for personal use (therefore excluding it from being categorised as simple drug possession).
  • The quality of the drug is high, suggesting it will likely be adulterated or cut for distribution.
  • Possession of a wide variety of drugs.
  • Discovery of drug-related equipment such as scales, cutting agents, or packaging materials.

What are controlled drugs?

Controlled drugs are classed according to their relative degree of overall harm from misuse and there are three classes. The class of drug a person is caught possessing, supplying or producing affects the severity of the offence.

Class A drugs 

These include ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, heroin, crystal meth and magic mushrooms. Because the government deems these drugs as the most harmful they are therefore categorised in the highest bracket.

Class B drugs

Drugs included in this category are ketamine, codeine, spice and cannabis. Therefore they are medium

Class C drugs 

This is the lowest category and include minor tranquillisers, anabolic steroids, khat and GHB. As the government deems these drugs as the least harmful they are therefore categorised in the lowest bracket.

What are the Sentencing Guidelines for Drug Possession?

The sentence for Possession with intent to supply will range from a fine right up to 16 years in prison. If a prison sentence is deemed necessary, it will vary depending on the Class of drug, the quantity and the role taken in the Supply. The criteria include

  • whether it is Class A, Class B or Class C
  • if you have a leading role, significant role or a lesser role
  • the quantity of drugs involved which falls in to 4 categories. As an example, in terms of cocaine, 5kg is in the highest category 1 bracket, falling to 1kg then 150g and finally 5g in the lowest bracket

The length of sentence will depend on a number of different criteria:

How close they are to the original source

Whether they were directing or organising the buying/selling on a commercial scale

How much influence they have over others in the chain

Expectation of financial gain

Using a business as cover

Abusing a position of trust or responsibility

Stop & Search – Drug Possession

Understanding your rights is crucial, especially when it comes to encounters with the Police, such as stop and search procedures. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The police cannot stop you without reasonable grounds, unless authorised by a senior officer, typically in cases involving serious violent crimes.
  • Prior to conducting a search, officers must provide their name, police station, the item they expect to find (e.g., drugs), the reason for the search (e.g., suspicion of concealing something), and the legal basis for the search.
  • You have the right to request a record of the search, and if one cannot be provided at the time, you should be informed of how to obtain a copy later.
  • During the search, officers can remove your outer jacket, coat, and gloves, and they may touch the outside of your clothing. If further action is necessary beyond this, such as removing additional items or conducting a more thorough search, they must take you to the police station.

It’s important to be aware of your rights and to seek assistance if you believe you’ve been subjected to an illegal stop and search.

What should you do if you’re been charged for Possession with intent to supply?

If you or a family member are accused of a Drug related charge you should seek legal advice immediately. It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.

An example of a Possession with intent to supply case that we've worked on?

Sometimes our job as a solicitor is to get the best possible sentence for our clients. In July 23, our client was arrested during a raid conducted on his premises. As part of the raid, they discovered approximately 273 wraps of two class A drugs (crack cocaine and heroin) plus marijuana in a number of locations at his residence. After pleading guilty our client was looking at a 7 year sentence and we successfully managed to get this reduced to the lowest possible sentence. It meant he only received a 28 month term.