Recent police drug raids on the Sunshine Coast could have serious consequences for those that have been charged with drug offences. All criminal charges carry a maximum sentence, whether this is the upper limit of jail time, fines or the period for bond, but in Queensland there can be a mandatory minimum sentence imposed.
The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act 2013 (VLAD act), aimed at increasing public safety by targeting and disestablishing criminal associations, effectively increases the minimum sentence for those found to be associated with criminal organisations. The VLAD act does not just extend to known criminal gangs but also includes a group of three or more persons involved in illegal activity such as an alleged organised drug syndicate.
This means that a person charged with a drug offence could receive a mandatory extra 15 or 25 year imprisonment term whatever the maximum penalty is for the particular offence.
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