Calgary Drug Lawyer
Drug Offences cover a broad range of charges and have a very wide range of sentences. One of the most basic types of drug charge is Simple Possession of Marijuana. The charges become more serious depending on the type of drug and whether the Crown alleges it was possessed for the purpose of trafficking.
There are 5 main drug offences. All amounts and types of drugs involved being equal, the offences are laid out in order of relative seriousness:
- Possessing a drug
- Possessing a drug for the purpose of trafficking it (selling, giving, distributing, trading, etc.)
- Trafficking a drug (selling, trading, giving, distributing, etc.)
- Producing a drug (growing, cooking, creating, etc.)
- Importing a drug into Canada, or exporting it out of Canada (mailing, transporting, etc.)
If you have been charged with a drug offence, you can expect to be placed on significant restrictions while dealing with the charges. Depending on the seriousness of the charges, it is not uncommon to be placed on curfew and to have no access to cellular telephones.
Defending Drug Offences
It is important to keep in mind that drug prosecutions are often very technical. Just because drugs were involved does not mean a conviction is inevitable. In virtually every case, the drugs have to be sent to a laboratory to establish that it is in fact an illegal substance.
If you were searched, the prosecutor has to prove that the police had the right to search you. In situations where drugs are found in a vehicle, the prosecutor has to prove that you knew about the drugs and that you had possession of them.
If the drugs were found in a house, the prosecutor has to prove that the police had a valid search warrant or other reason to enter the residence. In instances where other people reside in the residence, the prosecutor also has to prove that the drugs were actually yours.
When trafficking charges are involved, the prosecutor also has the further burden of proving that the drugs were in fact being used for trafficking.
Although there are many hurdles for the Crown to overcome, if you are found guilty of the more serious drug offences, jail time is very likely without legal representation. To most effectively assist your case, you should draft a chronology of everything that occurred and have it available during your legal consultation. Focus your written statement primarily on your interactions with the police.
Each offence carries different potential penalties depending on the amount and type of drug involved.
Controlled drugs and substances are organized into groups called “schedules” in the CDSA. They are divided in groups according to 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: Cannabis and its derivatives (cannabis resin; marijuana)
- Schedule III: LSD; psilocybin mushrooms (“magic mushrooms”)
- Schedule IV: Barbiturates, including clonazepam, diazepram, Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, and anabolic steroids
- Schedule V: Propylhexedrine and any derived salt
- Schedule VI: Substances needed to create other drugs: Ephedrine; lysergic acid; norephedrine; pseudoephedrine; potassium permanganate; red phosphorous; white phosphorous; acetone; ethyl ether; sulphuric acid; toluene.