Misuse of Drugs Act 1977

Defences generally.

29

29. F62 [ (1) In any proceedings for an offence under this Act or an offence under section 34 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1994 in which it is proved that the defendant had in his possession or supplied a controlled drug, the defendant shall not be acquitted of the offence charged by reason only of proving that he neither knew nor suspected nor had reason to suspect that the substance, product or preparation in question was the particular controlled drug alleged. ]

(2) In any such proceedings in which it is proved that the defendant had in his possession a controlled drug, or a forged prescription, or a duly issued prescription altered with intent to deceive, it shall be a defence to prove that—

( a) he did not know and had no reasonable grounds for suspecting—

(i) that what he had in his possession was a controlled drug or such a prescription, as may be appropriate, or

(ii) that he was in possession of a controlled drug or such a prescription, as may be appropriate, or

( b) he believed the substance, product or preparation to be a controlled drug, or a controlled drug of a particular class or description, and that, if the substance, product or preparation had in fact been that controlled drug or a controlled drug of that class or description, he would not at the material time have been committing an offence under this Act, or

( c) knowing or suspecting it to be such a drug or prescription, he took or retained possession of it for the purpose of—

(i) preventing another from committing or continuing to commit an offence in relation to the drug or document, as may be appropriate, or

(ii) delivering it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it,

and that as soon as practicable he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to destroy the drug or document or to deliver it into the custody of such a person.

F63 [ (3) In any proceedings for an offence under section 15 or 15A , or subsection (1)(d) of section 15C , of this Act, a defendant may rebut the presumption raised by subsection (2) of the said section 15 or 15A or subsection (3) of the said section 15C , as the case may be, by showing that at the time of the alleged offence, he or she was by virtue of regulations made under section 4 of this Act lawfully in possession of the controlled drug or drugs to which the proceedings relate. ]

(4) In any proceedings for an offence under section 19 of this Act it shall be a defence to show that the defendant took steps to prevent the occurrence or continuance of the activity or contravention to which the alleged offence relates and that, in the particular circumstances, the steps were taken as soon as practicable and were reasonable.

(5) In any proceedings for an offence under section 16 , 17 or 21 (2) of this Act, it shall be a defence for the defendant to prove that he neither knew of nor suspected nor had reason to suspect the existence of some fact alleged by the prosecutor which it is necessary for the prosecutor to prove if he is to be convicted of the offence charged.

(6) In any proceedings for an attempt to commit an offence under this Act the defences mentioned in subsection (2) or (5) of this section shall, with the necessary modifications, be open to the defendant.

(7) Subject to subsection (1) of this section nothing in this section shall prevent a person raising a defence which, apart from this section, would be open to him to raise in proceedings for an offence under this Act.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F62

Substituted (15.11.1996) by Criminal Justice Act 1994 (15/1994), s. 34(5), S.I. No. 333 of 1996.

F63

Substituted (1.08.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 85, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.

Editorial Notes:

E155

Previous affecting provision: subs. (3) substituted (26.05.1999) by Criminal Justice Act 1999 (10/1999), s. 6, S.I. No. 154 of 1999; substituted as per F-note above.