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An image of a crowd at a festival | Drugs at a Festival | Criminal Law Central Coast

What happens if you get caught with drugs at a festival?

Festival season is in full swing, with plenty of festival goers preparing outfits, checking the lineup for their favourite band and enjoying live music. However, the party atmosphere can quickly turn sour if festival goers find themselves on the wrong side of the law when it comes to drug offences. In this article, we’ll cover what happens if you are caught with drugs at a festival.

Understanding the strict NSW drug laws

New South Wales has some of the strictest drug laws in the country, and the possession of illegal substances, including pills, is a criminal offence. The authorities employ various measures to detect and deter drug-related activities at festivals, including sniffer dogs, undercover officers, and enhanced security protocols. After the recent drug-related deaths of two festival attendees in October 2023, there has been a heightened police presence and focus on drug policies this summer.

The consequences of possession

The legal consequences for drug offences in NSW can be severe. Offenders may be charged with possession, supply, or trafficking, depending on the quantity of drugs in their possession. Possession of a prohibited substance, such as MDMA commonly found in pills, can lead to fines, community service, or even imprisonment, depending on the quantity and previous offences.

Immediate consequences at festivals

In addition to the legal repercussions, getting caught with pills at a festival can result in immediate expulsion from the event. Festival organisers are under strict obligations to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees, and individuals found in possession of illegal substances are likely to be removed from the premises. If you are caught, or fear you may be caught, you are better off not consuming the illegal substances, at risk of overdosing.

What to do if you’ve been caught with drugs at a festival?

For those caught with drugs at a festival, seeking legal advice is crucial. Legal professionals can provide guidance on the best course of action, potential defences and pleas in mitigation, and the likely outcomes of the case. Depending on the circumstances and with the right representation, it may be you can escape without a criminal conviction. It’s important to remember that ignorance of the law is not a valid defence, and being informed about the legal landscape can help festival-goers make more responsible choices.

Harm reduction initiatives and actions

As an alternative to risky behaviour, festival organisers, health professionals, and harm reduction organisations are working together to promote drug education and harm reduction initiatives. These efforts aim to create a safer festival environment by providing resources such as drug testing services, medical assistance, and educational programs to help attendees make more informed decisions.

Have you been caught with drugs at a festival? Contact the best Central Coast criminal lawyer today

Seton Family Lawyers are the best Central Coast criminal lawyers, with extensive experience in helping clients facing charges after being caught with drugs at festivals. Contact us today to make an appointment.


The above is not intended as legal advice, and we suggest you contact your trusted lawyer and obtain legal advice in relation to your circumstances or matter.

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