4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2005-06
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/03/2007
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Of the 14,163 people adjudicated in Australia's Higher Courts in 2005-06, 2,405 (17%) were finalised for illicit drug offences. This is a rise of 19% from 2001-02 and 2% from 2004-05.
Almost 35% of these defendants were aged between 25 and 34 years and over eight out of ten (86%) were men.
Only 3% of people facing illicit drug charges were acquitted in the Higher Courts in 2005-06. People proven guilty in the Higher Courts were more likely to receive a custodial term for illicit drug offences than for all other offence types, except robbery, homicide and sexual assault.
In the Magistrates' Courts more than 27,000 people (5% of all adjudicated defendants) faced illicit drug offences in 2005-06. Similar to the Higher Courts, one-third of defendants were aged between 25 and 34 years and eight out of ten defendants were men.
Those facing illicit drug offences were most likely to be proven guilty in the Magistrates' Courts, with the acquittal rate for illicit drug offences the lowest of all offences (1%).
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