Drug Offences

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Drug Offences 2020-07-08T16:50:35+00:00

Your Guide to Drug Charges by Drug Lawyers in Edmonton

What are Drug Charges?

Drug charges are those offences which arise from an interaction with an illicit drug or substance. This guide acts as general information for drug charges. For specific offence information, see the links listed below.

Drug offences are listed under federal legislation called the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (“CDSA”), not under the Canadian Criminal Code. Because drugs are under federal jurisdiction, matters must be negotiated with Federal Crown Prosecutors, rather than Provincial Crown Prosecutors. This adds an extra layer of complexity to a complicated area of offences.

The main types of drug offences are:

Controlled drugs and substances are organized into groups called “schedules” in the CDSA. They are divided based on their chemical properties and the effects they have when consumed. Below are some of the most common substances in each schedule:

  • Schedule I: Oxycontin, cocaine, morphine, heroin, codeine, GHB (the “date rape” drug), opium;
  • Schedule II: Synthetic cannabis and its derivatives;
  • Schedule III: LSD; psilocybin mushrooms (“magic mushrooms”);
  • Schedule IV: Barbiturates including clonazepam, diazepam, amytal, nembutal, seconal, and anabolic steroids;
  • Schedule V: Propylhexedrine and any derived salt;
  • Schedule VI: Substances needed to create other drugs, such as ephedrine, lysergic acid, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine, potassium permanganate, red phosphorous, white phosphorous, acetone, ethyl ether, sulphuric acid, and toluene.
Edmonton Drug Lawyer

Investigation of Drug Offence Charges in Edmonton

Because of the broad nature of drug offences, the nature of the investigations is also varied. An investigation may begin with a routine police traffic stop, an intensive surveillance operation, or pursued after a report or complaint from a witness or anonymous informant (i.e. Crime Stoppers).

The Edmonton Police Service takes drug offences very seriously. They have a large team of law enforcement officers to help investigate drug activity in the city. If you are stopped by police, you will be routinely checked for the presence of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia. Police will then make sure to follow up on every possible trafficking or production lead.

If the police suspect that you are involved in a more serious drug offence, it may lead to a planned evidence gathering operation through surveillance and undercover officers. These types of operations often take many months and involve a significant amount of resources in order to gather enough evidence to convict you. Many operations culminate in the execution of a search warrant, where a team of police will raid your home and/or vehicle to seize evidence related to the drug offence.

Penalties for Drug Offences in Edmonton

Because of the broad range of offences classified as “drug offences,” punishments for a conviction are diverse.

In serious cases, drug offence charges will always result in a jail sentence as the CDSA stipulates mandatory minimum sentences. However, in less serious cases, such as simple possession, a conviction will usually not result in a jail sentence, provided there are no aggravating circumstances and you have a relatively clean criminal record.

In addition to the immediate penalties resulting from a conviction for drug offences, it can negatively impact your future as well. You may experience problems securing employment in the field of your choice, especially in roles that require handling money or working with vulnerable groups. The lifelong criminal record that results from a conviction can also hinder immigration and travel, particularly to the United States where drug offences are taken very seriously.

Rest assured, our lawyers will work hard to defend you so that you are not saddled with the consequences that stem from a criminal conviction for a drug offence. In fact, we can often canvass a range of sentencing options with the Prosecutors that will either leave you with no criminal record or impose minimal restrictions on your liberty after sentencing. To learn more about potential non-criminal resolutions, please visit our Resolutions page, or read our FAQ on resolutions and other sentencing options.

Edmonton Drug Lawyer

Defending Drug Offences in Edmonton

What are the best defences to drug offence charges in Edmonton?

With drug offence charges, we will work with Federal Crown Prosecutors to seek a resolution that does not involve a criminal conviction wherever possible.

Because of the list of offences that fall under the umbrella of “drug offences,” and the varied circumstances involved in such charges, there are many different possible defences. It is important for your criminal defence lawyer to review the facts of your case and prepare your defence accordingly.

Our experienced defence lawyers will use the most effective defence against the charges according to the precise circumstances of your case. Even if the charges proceed and you are found guilty, a good defence can greatly reduce the severity of the consequences for you.

How can I help defend drug offence charges in Edmonton?

If you have been charged with a drug offence in Edmonton, the following can help your lawyer build a strong defence:

  • Provide your lawyer with a statement about what happened;
  • Collect and maintain all documents and records about the event;
  • Gather a list of witnesses that may support your version of events; and
  • Log any relevant texts, emails, phone calls or photographic evidence.

What information is relevant will depend on the facts in your case. As soon as you are released on bail, you should start to gather any information that may be of use to your lawyer. If you are uncertain what information may be relevant, you should contact one of our lawyers immediately to create a plan of action for gathering information.

If you are truly proactive about the matter, consider doing the following:

  • Secure proof of employment,
  • Secure reference letters,
  • Enroll in counselling (anger management/substance abuse/parenting),
  • Secure a record of prescriptions and/or licenses, and
  • Secure a record of any mental health conditions you suffer from.

These steps can be very helpful for building an effective defence (or convincing the Prosecutor to drop the charges altogether).

What can a lawyer do to help me defend against drug offence charges in Edmonton?

As we start preparing your defence by examining police actions and the evidence against you, there are certain defence strategies that can be used to aid your cause, including:

  • Assembling documents, photographs, texts, etc. that contradict the allegation and support your defence;
  • Gathering evidence from witnesses that support your version of events;
  • Identifying mistakes in the actions of the police, such as Charter breaches;
  • Uncovering administrative/systemic errors, such as “Jordan delay,” non-disclosure, lost or destroyed evidence, etc.; and
  • Finding weaknesses or “holes” in the Crown’s case that may make it difficult or impossible for them to establish the elements of the offence.

An experienced and capable drug offence lawyer will be able to review your case to determine if there are any defences that can lead to your acquittal.

What Next?

Drug cases are highly technical and fact-specific. Additionally, because of the lengthy police surveillance involved, drug cases are often very complex.

We have tried our best to provide a general outline of what you can expect if you find yourself in this situation, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Please be sure to read further about the specific drug offence charge you are facing, including:

To learn more about how we can help, please contact our team of Drug Offence Lawyers. We will conduct a thorough review of your situation and tailor a precise strategy that targets your successful defence.

Drug Offence FAQs

  1. What are the best defences to a drug charge?
  2. How can I get my drug charges dropped?
  3. A criminal defence lawyer’s top 5 tips for fighting drug charges

See More

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Mr. A
Mr. A
05:28 14 Feb 21
Danielle is a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer in Edmonton. She takes the matter very seriously and provides... successful defense for your rights. I say that because of my personal experience with her and her law firmI am sincerely grateful to Danielle and to her hard-working team Angela, Barbara that ensured my life was protected during a difficult time that I was facing unlawful criminal charges. Danielle provided immeasurable support, legal assistance and most importantly an honest representation during the entire process of the trial.In my first meeting with Danielle, she provided an explanation of the case, the court process, the issues in the case and put a plan for a successful defense and during the process she had very good communication with me , she replied to my emails and answered my questions in a timely manner.Danielle is a highly respected lawyer at court rooms; she has a very good connection and deep knowledge with the law and law society as well as court officials.I can safely say if Danielle is representing you , you will for sure have a successful case.I highly recommend Danielle and her team in her law firm to anyone who is seeking a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer.Thank you for reading this review and wish all the best.Mr. Aread more
Sam
Sam
23:08 20 Jan 21
I highly recommend Danielle to anyone seeking legal counsel. It is comforting to have an experienced, professional, and... intelligent lawyer like Danielle in your corner. Because of Danielle, the outcome of my case was favorable, and exceeded expectations.read more
jeremy kelsey
jeremy kelsey
19:31 17 Jan 21
Hello i would not recommend this law firm . I asked to get danielle as a lawyer because apparently she is highly... trained in drug cases. So instead of getting her she assigned me to another lawyer in her law firm that I had done no research on. She directed him to just lock me up because I didn't stand chance in trial.He knew that wasn't right. So end of the day we took it to trial and he beat my charges. And now she won't pay him what he's owed. I do not recommend this firm . Unless you kike going to jail .read more
Kenton Schram
Kenton Schram
02:30 14 Dec 20
I had the good fortune of being represented by Barbara D. She helped me through a difficult time, resulting in a... distinctly positive outcome. Her insight, integrity and sheer tenacity made her a valuable asset to me in making a molehill, remain as such. I would recommend her to anyonethat finds themselves in awkward legal times.read more
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22:29 11 Dec 20
Absolutely amazing, I finally have my life back an its all thanks to Danielle. I thoroughly recommend them. Sh made me... feel much better after every talk and like I said she saved my life.read more
Kirk O'Dooley
Kirk O'Dooley
20:49 10 Dec 20
I was represented by Anny and she was amazing. I trusted her from the beginning. If I should ever need legal advice... or help (which I hope I never need) there is no question whom I would call. This was my first time ever been charged and the experience was terrifying at first. After meeting with Anny I felt a lot better. Give them a call, you won’t regret it.read more
Leah Marty
Leah Marty
23:20 18 Sep 20
They truly went out of way to help me with my case. They showed compassion & worked with me through the whole ordeal... putting me at ease.They also had a payment option helping ease the stress, didn't feel like had to have all at once.. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking help! They are the best by far! From the bottom of my heart I would love to truly thank Anny Wang for everything she has done.. You'll forever hold a place in my heart along with my husband.read more
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Mike K.
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I HIGHLY recommend this firm. From first meetings until case was resolved, I felt really welcome and relaxed in their... office atmosphere. We were in tight situation, wrongfully accused. They are professional and down to Earth, helped with a payment plan after retaining them. We had Anny Wang as our lawyer who literally went above and beyond, cleared my wife from charges she was not guilty of. I honestly, recommend this law firm! She got the results we needed. We both want to thank Anny and the entire law firm.read more
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Mel I
04:41 16 Sep 20
Danielle Boisvert was our lawyer, she was awesome, thorough, professional and sincere! I HIGHLY recommend her and her... team. Between the phone calls, the unfortunate pandemic we managed to still be able to keep in contact and get everything done and finalized. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and my family, it means so much more than you know to have someone be there for us and for advocating for our youth's civil rights. No matter how things started out, you kept us feeling at ease and confident with the law.read more
Justin Kallis
Justin Kallis
23:06 11 Sep 20
Highlight reccomend Anny
Nichole Faye
Nichole Faye
21:36 31 Aug 20
Danielle Boisvert is by far the best lawyer. I can't say enough good things about her! She handles everything so... professionally and makes it easy on her clients I highly recommend Danielle!read more
Koots Kowboy
Koots Kowboy
20:54 24 Aug 20
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John Siggers
John Siggers
20:34 19 Aug 20
Hiring Danielle was a great decision. She and any of her team I interacted with were always up front and professional.... Her assistance on what to expect through the process was percise and helpful. Her hard work and skill lead to my charge being dropped. I am appreciative and highly recommend her to anyone needing legal representation.read more
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Christine Clarke
01:08 19 Aug 20
I am very thankful to have come into contact with this law practice. Danielle is an exceptional lawyer, and someone who... connects with the values that she represents. The experience, intelligence, and advice through this firm was exceptional. This also extended to any individual who represented the firm that we worked with. The knowledge and expertise they offer is substantial and valuable. The ability to easily adapt during a global pandemic seamlessly did not go unnoticed. I wish I could offer feedback on how to improve, but I wouldn’t change a thing.read more
Jordon Fuder
Jordon Fuder
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Katie Duncan
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Everyone i interacted with here was extremely friendly and helpful. Anny Wang helped me feel at ease about my situation... that all of the other lawyers i consulted with did not. Overall my experience here was concise and clear, and I ended up with the best outcome I could've hoped for. She even offered to lower her pricing because of my financial situation. I highly recommend seeing them if you need a lawyer!read more
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Denber Perez
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Jenna Keiller
12:25 12 Mar 20
Savage Oykhman Law has a fantastic team of hardworking experts, who cared greatly for my case, as I know they will for... your's as well. Daniel Murphy sympathized with my circumstances, while advocating with determination for a reasonable judgement. As I agreed with the professionalism of Daniel Murphy and his assistant Christine, and their consideration towards the sensitivity of my unfortunate circumstances. It was worth giving them the chance to solve my issues, to my surprise, they went above and beyond my expectations, while keeping my mind level throughout the process. My charge ended up being dropped. I honestly cannot thank-you enough, for all your hard-work and help!read more
Leon B
Leon B
19:01 24 Feb 20
This firm is awesome! Dan Murphy represented me he addressed any doubts I had about my case and gave me the correct... legal advise when I asked him. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Dan Murphy got my charges dropped within months and for that I would say hes not only a winner but a Champion! I am so glad I had him representing me!read more
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Eddie Tyre
00:31 14 Feb 20
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Kang Danielle
Kang Danielle
17:09 21 Nov 19
Dan Murphy gave me the best option so everyone involved didn’t have to waste their time. It was super easy from the... beginning to the end, and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. The staff are very professional and attentive to meet your needs. I hope you don’t have to meet a lawyer, but if you do, I highly recommend this firm.read more
Chris Edmonton
Chris Edmonton
19:17 19 Nov 19
I was represented by Anny Wang (and Danielle) and both were a pleasure to deal with! My case was withdrawn in the end... after their hard work and recommendations. She was easy to deal with, went into thorough details and whenever possible, reached out to myself with updates. In general though, everyone at Savage Oykhman were easy to deal with, including the front desk. While I hope to never run into needing their services, don't hesitate reaching out to Anny for any issues you may run into, I will certainly be keeping her card! Definitely earned the 5 star review and praise.read more
TJ Cekic
TJ Cekic
17:38 04 Nov 19
Anny Wang is amazing! My case got completely thrown out. She is compassionate, amazing and very well educated in many... fields of law. The whole team at Savage Oykhman Edmonton is absolutely amazing and helpful. I would recommend this law firm to absolutely anyone!! I give them a 5+++ rating. Absolutely amazing.read more
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Excellent service! I would highly recommend going with this team. If I ever need assistance with anything of this manner again, I wouldn’t hesitate to call or email the team at Oykhman Criminal Defence again.


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Everyone was very professional and understanding. They explained everything and put me at ease. Any question I had were answered right. If you need help I’d highly recommend this law firm.


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