What are the best defences to a drug charge?

>>>What are the best defences to a drug charge?

drug offencesThe best defences to a drug charge will depend on the particular circumstances of your case. However, some common issues that may provide you with a defence to your charge include:

You Did Not Consent To, Have Knowledge Of, or Control Over The Drug:

One of the best ways to defeat a drug charge is to show that you did not consent to, have knowledge of, or control over the drug. This may involve proving that you did not know that the drug was in fact a drug, that you did not know that you had the drug on your person, that you were forced to keep the drug where it was found, or that you had no control over the drug. If you can prove any of these things, then you will not be considered to be in possession of the drug.

Show that The Crown Failed to Prove The Drug Was a Controlled Substance Under The CDSA:

Sometimes it may be the case that the Crown has failed to take the steps required to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the drug was a controlled substance under the CDSA. In order for the Crown to successfully prove this fact, they must take the drug that was seized during the investigation and submit it to a lab for testing. After the drugs are tested, the Crown will need to obtain a certificate from a technician who is qualified to examine the drug and who can attest to the fact that it is a drug that is listed in the CDSA.

The Crown Prosecutor must then serve an affidavit to the accused or the accused’s defence counsel that shows the results of the testing and that indicates that the Crown Prosecutor intends to use the results of those tests against the accused. If the Crown Prosecutor fails to serve the accused or the accused’s counsel with this certificate, or if it is seriously flawed in some way, then the Crown may be unable to rely on it as evidence at trial. As a result, it may turn out that the Crown does not have adequate evidence to prove the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

However, it is important to note that you can be found guilty of trafficking even if the substance you were trying to traffick was not one listed in the CDSA. As long as you advertised some substance (even if it was not illegal) as a substance listed under the CDSA, and trafficked that substance on that basis, you can still be found guilty of drug trafficking.

Constitutional Challenges:

It is possible that while investigating you for a drug offence, the police violated one or more of your constitutional rights. If the violation is serious enough, it could result in the exclusion of evidence against you. As a result the Crown Prosecutor may not have enough evidence to continue to pursue your conviction.
One of the most important constitutional violations in the context of a drug investigation is the violation of your right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. When conducting a search with or without a warrant, the police must act within the scope of power that is accorded to them by law. If they seize drugs while acting beyond the scope of their lawful duty, any drugs that were seized were seized illegally. In such an event, your defence lawyer can argue that the unlawfully seized drugs are excluded from your trial.

Because many serious drug charges involve the execution of a search warrant, your lawyer may also be able to exclude evidence gathered with that warrant if the warrant was defective in some way. That is, when obtaining a warrant to conduct a search and seizure, the police must meet certain legal requirements and must then conduct the search and seizure in a manner that is compliant with law. It is often the case that there are defects with the warrant, or that the police did something they were not authorized to do when executing the warrant. If this is the case, any evidence that was seized by virtue of an improperly granted or improperly executed warrant may be excluded from your trial.

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.