What to do if you are Facing Drug Charges
Drug charges are a very serious matter. Most drugs and controlled substances are illegal in Canada; The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act states that a person convicted of a drug offence will be prosecuted.
Drugs are often classified as either “hard” or “soft”. Hard drugs tend to include those that are highly addictive and can result in death to the user if taken in large fatal amounts, such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, amphetamines and opium. Hard drugs generally receive more severe charges and penalties.
Depending on the offence and the nature of the drug, the consequences you face may range from full discharge to long imprisonment sentences. Possible drug-related charges include:
- Possession of a Prohibited or Controlled Substance
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purposes of Trafficking
- Trafficking in a Prohibited or Controlled Substance
- Producing, Cultivating or Growing a Controlled Substance
- Importing, Exporting or Possessing for the Purpose of Exporting a Controlled Substance
If convicted on one or more of the above offences
we will determine the sentence based on a number of factors, including
- The offender’s previous history and record
- The offender’s level of involvement in a drug organization
- The number of transactions (i.e. sales)
- Whether the offence was planned or spontaneous
- The number of drugs and substances that were seized, as well as the type of drug
In other words, The levels of offences are simple possession, trafficking, production, or importing and exporting. Drug charges will often come down to two main issues – legal possession, as well as the manner in which the police obtained the drugs.
However, the defences available to an accused will vary based on the nature of the substance; the quantity of drug seized.
What is the Process when Charged with Drug-Related Offences?
The person being charged with a drug-related offence should contact an experienced criminal lawyer at the point of arrest. If a Justice of the Peace decides someone should be released, they have to go back in court. The JofP might also require that the person have someone else sign on his behalf.
In order for the Crown to charge an offender with a drug-related offence, they must prove without a doubt that:
- The CDSA truly prohibits the drug;
- The drug was in actual possession of the accused;
- The accused knew that the drug possessed was prohibited; and
- The accused had the intention to possess the prohibited drug (had some level of control over it).
It is important to seek a knowledgeable criminal lawyer with expertise in drug charges and trafficking, as they can analyze the facts of the case to use all defences available.
Other defences include the validity of search warrants and the reliability of witnesses. The lawyer will help you understand your rights and all the legal options going forward.
Drug-related offences are serious offences in Canada, and obtaining proper, competent legal representation is essential. Drug charges can be very detrimental to your freedom. You can speak to us for free about your legal matter. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.