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Drug Possession Charges and Penalties in Austria

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Drug Possession Charges and Penalties in Austria 1

Drug Laws in Austria

Austria takes a strict stance on drug use and possession. The country has some of the toughest drug laws in Europe. The Penal Code and the Narcotic Drugs Act govern the use, sale, and possession of drugs in Austria. The Narcotic Acts classifies drugs into different categories, including “hard drugs” like heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy, and “soft” drugs like cannabis. The category of the drug determines the severity of the penalty.

Drug Possession Charges and Penalties in Austria 2

Drug Possession Penalties

Drug possession for personal use is a criminal offense in Austria. Possession of soft drugs like cannabis may result in a fine or community service for first-time offenders. If caught with bigger quantities of soft drugs, repeat offenses, or possession of hard drugs, the offender may face imprisonment up to two years or even six years of imprisonment in severe cases. In case of the latter, the offender may undergo a mandatory drug rehabilitation program or treatment.

Drug Trafficking Penalties

Drug trafficking, which refers to the sale and distribution of drugs, carries harsher penalties than drug possession. Those found guilty of trafficking can receive a sentence of up to three years for a small amount of soft drugs, while the trafficking of hard drugs can result in life imprisonment. The penalty may also be influenced by other factors like the type and quantity of drugs, if the drug trafficker used violence, and if they trafficked to minors or near a school.

The Leniency Program

Under § 35 of the Narcotic Drugs Act, drug users who voluntarily seek medical treatment before being prosecuted can undergo treatment without punishment. This leniency program may apply to those caught in possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use. The program aims to encourage drug addicts to seek help to overcome addiction. Looking to learn more about the subject? Explore the suggested external site, where additional information and supplementary material await. Access this interesting study, expand your knowledge of the topic!


Drug possession in Austria carries severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and mandatory treatment. Drug users caught with a small quantity of drugs can take advantage of the leniency program to seek rehabilitation voluntarily without facing a prison sentence. Drug trafficking carries even harsher penalties, and drug traffickers may face life imprisonment for dealing hard drugs. It is essential to take note of the drug laws in Austria and adhere to them to avoid severe legal consequences.

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