Freephone: 0800 1933 999
Mobile Freephone: 01623 397 200

Chat Online

Criminal Defence Blog

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

Psychoactive Substances Act 2016


Psychoactive Substances Act 2016


If you are being investigated for, or charged with, an offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, our expert team are on hand 24/7 to advise you on all aspects of the legal process, your rights, and the best defences.  Call us now on 0800 1933 999.


Q: What is the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 and when did it come into effect?


A: The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force on 26 May 2016 and introduces a variety of measures relating to so called ‘legal highs’.


Q: What activities are now defined as offences?


A: The Act introduces a number of offences relating to these substances including:


  • producing a psychoactive substance (section 4)
  • supplying, or offering to supply, a psychoactive substance (section 5)
  • possession of psychoactive substance with intent to supply (section 7)
  • importing or exporting a psychoactive substance (section 8)
  • possession of a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution (section 9).


Q: What sentencing powers relate to this Act?


A: Those convicted of an offence under sections 4-8 of the Act face a sentence of up to 7 years, with those convicted under section 9 facing a sentence of up to 2 years.


Q: Are there any civil sanctions under the new Act?


A: Yes. The Act also introduces new civil sanctions including prohibition and premises notices to allow police to shut down ‘headshops’ and UK-based online dealers.


Q: What if a person fails to comply with the civil sanctions?


A: Those who do not comply with these sanctions face up to 2 years imprisonment.


Q: How can I find out more about the new Act?


A: The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 can be accessed in full here.


Are you worried about a drugs-related charge? If so, call our office on 01623 397200 for free initial advice.



Forrest Williams TV