What is the Illicit Drugs Court Diversion Program?
The Illicit Drugs Court Diversion Program is also commonly known as “CDP” or court-ordered drug diversion. CDP is a sentencing option available throughout Magistrates Courts in Queensland pursuant to section 19(2A) of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld). A sentencing court may impose a good behaviour bond with an additional condition that the defendant participates in a drug assessment and education session. The program itself educates offenders about the negative impacts of substance misuse and the links between substance abuse and criminal offending. The session can be conducted in person or via telephone.
What are the eligibility requirements for CDP?
The eligibility requirements are derived from sections 15C, 15D, and 15E of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld).
A defendant is only eligible for CDP if they are charged with an eligible drug offence and are pleading guilty to the offence(s). The eligible offences are listed below:
- Section 9 of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) – Possession of a dangerous drug
- Must be a dangerous drug
- Must be less than the quantity listed in Schedule 1
- Must be for personal use and not for a commercial purpose
- Section 10(1) of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) – Possessing things
- The items must have been possessed in connection with the commission of the offence for personal use
- Section 10(2) of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) – Possess utensil
- Section 10(4) of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) – Fail to take care with respect to a hypodermic syringe or needle
- Section 10(4A) of the Drugs Misuse Act 1986 (Qld) – Fail to dispose of a hypodermic syringe or needle
A defendant is not eligible for CDP if:
- They have previously been given the opportunity to complete two diversion sessions
- They have been convicted of a disqualifying offence
- An offence of a sexual nature
- An indictable offence involving violence – excluding common assault, serious assaults (ss 340(a)(b) Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld))
- Specific drug offences dealt with on Indictment – Trafficking in dangerous drugs, Supplying dangerous drugs, Producing dangerous drugs, Possessing dangerous drugs
What is the Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral Program?
The Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral Program is commonly known as “DAAR.” DAAR is a sentencing option available throughout Magistrates Courts in Queensland pursuant to section 19(2B) of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld). Similarly to CDP, DAAR is imposed as an additional condition to a good behaviour bond. DAAR is also an education session and can link offenders to access providers to seek further treatment. The eligibility requirements for DAAR are less stringent than CDP as there are no charges that prevent a defendant from participating in a DAAR course. In order to be eligible for DAAR the defendant must be pleading guilty and acknowledge there is a relationship between the offending behaviour and the misuse of drugs or alcohol. A person can only complete DAAR twice within a 5-year time frame.
Benefits of CDP and DAAR
If an offender is sentenced to a good behaviour bond with a condition to complete DAAR or CDP, a conviction will not be recorded against the defendant. In addition, these drug and alcohol diversion programs are excellent for early intervention for drug and alcohol use and to promote the rehabilitation of offenders.
If you would like to obtain advice regarding your eligibility for the Court Diversion Program or The Drug and Alcohol Assessment Referral Program, get in touch with our criminal law team.
The blog published by Rostron Carlyle Rojas is intended as general information only and is not legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing the blog posts, the reader understands there is no solicitor-client relationship between the reader and the blog published. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a legal practitioner, and readers are urged to consult RCR on any legal queries concerning a specific situation.