Toronto Drug Lawyer
Drug offences range from trafficking, production, possession, and importation of illegal and controlled drugs and substances. All drug offences are charged and prosecuted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). These offences carry severe criminal penalties upon conviction, including a maximum sentence of life in prison. Therefore, no matter how minor a drug offence seems, one should never disregard the importance of having a criminal defence lawyer by their side.
Defending Drug Possession Charges in Toronto
Are you facing drug possession or any other related charges? We can help!
At Zamani Law , we have vast experience providing exceptional defence services for persons facing any drug charges in Toronto and the GTA. Our firm’s proven track record in delivering optimal results has grown our reputation and recognition by our peers and clients.
Zamani Law recognizes the constant changes in drug laws, and we stay updated to ensure that our clients benefit from any developments. Our team of lawyers, paralegals, articling students, and other legal professionals work together on every case to thoroughly review and investigate all the details and tailor a strong and effective defence. Some of the defence strategies we utilize include:
- Challenging unreasonable searches and seizures
- Questioning “knowledge” and “control” of said drugs
If you’re facing drug charges, contact our Toronto drug offence lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Issues That May Arise with Drug Offences
Drug offences are some of the most complex charges in Canada, and they carry severe long-term consequences upon conviction. During the litigation process, several issues are bound to arise, including:
- The type of drug involved
- Previous criminal records of the offender
- Amount of the drugs seized
- Reason for possession of drugs, for example, trafficking or personal use.
- Amount of planning taken into the offence
- Other substances involved
All these issues play a significant role in the prosecution process and the penalties imposed upon conviction. They’re also vital in devising your defence strategy.
Keep in mind that charges involving “hard drugs,” such as cocaine, have more extreme penalties than those surrounding “soft drugs.”
Cocaine, Ecstasy, Heroin, Ketamine
These are “hard drugs,” and their charges carry the most severe consequences. When charged with possession, trafficking, or production of such drugs, the chances for a withdrawal of the allegations in favour of diversion methods is lower than in “soft drugs” or other drug-related offences. Therefore, it’s imperative to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer to help you mitigate such serious allegations.
Zamani law has a successful track record defending clients facing cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, heroin, and other hard drug charges. If you, or your loved one, are charged with these or other related crimes, feel free to contact our drug offence lawyers in Toronto for exceptional legal counsel.
Possession, Possession for The Purpose of Trafficking and Tracking Offences
Possession and Possession for Trafficking
To determine what constitutes possession, CDSA section 2 refers to the Canadian Criminal Code, which states that a person will be considered to be in possession if:
- The accused has the thing on his/her person;
- The accused knowingly has the thing in possession of another person or in any place (regardless of who owns the place);
- More than one individual owns an item, for example, one person may be in physical possession, but another person, while not in physical possession, owns the thing and has asserted that the other person is in possession.
Possession for trafficking has the same elements as possession, but the prosecution must also prove that your intent was trafficking the seized drugs. Trafficking may mean sharing or selling. The Crown tries to prove possession for trafficking by trying to show that the amount seized was too large for personal use.
In general, for the Crown to prove possession, they have to show that the accused had knowledge and control of the drugs.
Section (5)(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act defines trafficking as to “sell, administer, transfer, transport, send, or deliver the substance, to give the authorization to obtain the substance, or to offer to do anything mentioned above.”
As per the definition, a simple exchange of drugs, without exchange of money, amounts to trafficking.
With the changes to drug laws, which have led to increased severity in minimum penalties for trafficking and possession, it’s requisite to retain an experienced attorney when charged with any drug-related offence.
At Zamani Law, we are well-versed with the intricacies of drug offences and can provide exceptional legal representation. We welcome the opportunity to be your criminal defence lawyers.
For the Crown to prove possession, they must prove that:
- The seized substance is illegal pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
- You had knowledge that the substance was illegal.
- You had some level of control over the seized substance
Having knowledge and control can be proved if the item was found on you, another person, or any place, and you knew what the substance was and had some measure of control over it.
For example, if you’re arrested carrying your friend’s bag contacting a baggie of cocaine, you’re in possession, yet there’s no possession. In this scenario, you are in physical possession of the drugs, but you did not know that the substance was in the bag or what it was. As such, the knowledge and control elements cannot be proven, which means that you cannot be properly found guilty of possession.
In constructive possession, i.e., where the drugs are not found on you, the prosecution has to prove that you had both knowledge and control over the seized drugs.
The sentences imposed for possession and possession for trafficking depend on a myriad of factors. For certain offences, the Court must impose mandatory minimum jail sentences. Some of the factors that influence the type of sentences include, but are not limited to:
- The type of drug (hard drugs, such as cocaine, carry more severe sentences than soft drugs, such as marijuana)
- The quantity of drug seized (the more the quantity, the severe the sentence)
- The accused criminal record
- Why the accused had the drugs
- Other facts surrounding the case, e.g., unwarranted search and seizure
At Zamani Law, we can help you alleviate or avert consequences associated with possession and possession for the purpose of trafficking. We strive to get our clients acquitted or get the charges withdrawn in exchange for diversion methods, avoiding jail sentences and a criminal record.
Yes, two or more people can be charged with joint possession of the same drug. In this scenario, one person is found in possession of the drug with the knowledge and permission of the others. In joint possession, consent is the element required and not control as seen in constructive possession.
If you consent to another person to store or hide drugs, you have knowledge about the substance, and you can face joint possession charges.
In any drug case, the Crown Attorney must prove that the said substance is illegal, such as cocaine, LSD, heroin, GHB, ecstasy, ketamine, or opium. They also have to prove that the accused was in possession of the substance. If the person charged is accused of trafficking, the Crown must prove that he/she intended to sell, share, or transport the substance.
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I called Mr. Zamani not knowing what to do. Never having been in a situation like this before I was terrified. A family member needed my help and I needed his help. Mr. Zamani put me at ease with the first conversation. His is extremely professional, compassionate and knowledgeable. He was in constant contact with updates to help ease anxiety. Lawyer can be intimidating, but I feel safe and secure with Mr. Zamani. Thank you for your expert help and kindness. I highly recommend Mr. Zamani to navigate such challenges in life. Thank you!!!- Heidi van Vlymen