Drug Offences Lawyer Toronto
Drug offences range from trafficking, production, possession, and importation of illegal drugs and substances. All drug possession and offences are charged and prosecuted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). These offences carry severe criminal penalties upon a criminal 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 drug trafficking charges? We can help!
At Zamani Law, a criminal law firm, we have vast experience providing exceptional defence services for persons facing any drug possession charge 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 Toronto criminal lawyers, paralegals, articling students, and other legal professionals work together hand by hand with Farid Zamani, Toronto criminal lawyer, 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 related charge, contact our Toronto drug offence lawyers for a free initial 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 a criminal conviction. During the litigation process, several issues are bound to arise, including:
- The type of illegal drug & illegal substance 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 criminal 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 lawyer to help you mitigate such serious allegations.
Zamani law has a successful track record defending clients facing cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, heroin, and other illegal drug charges. If you, or your loved one, are charged with these or other drug crimes, feel free to contact our drug defence 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 criminal lawyer when charged with any drug-related offence.
At Zamani Law, we are well-versed with the intricacies of drug offence cases and can provide exceptional legal representation. We welcome the opportunity to be your criminal defence lawyers.
How can the prosecutor prove actual possession?
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.
How are knowledge and control of drugs proven?
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.
What are the sentences for possession and possession for the purpose of trafficking charges?
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 (illegal drugs, a hard drug such as cocaine, carry more severe sentences than not hard drugs, such as marijuana)
- The quantity of illegal drug involved (the more the quantity, the severe the sentence)
- The accused criminal record
- Why did the accused have the illegal 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 criminal charges withdrawn in exchange for diversion methods, avoiding jail sentences and a criminal record.
Can two people be found guilty of possessing the same drug?
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 illegal 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 criminal charges.
What must the Crown prove in a drug case?
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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What Clients Say Farid
Mr. Zamani provided me with his legal assistance in a hard confusing situation , he is such a proficient eloquent, knowledgable and tactful lawyer who can elaborate and explain the available legal options in complete honesty , i was being updated on my case on a daily badis , never was left in the dark about my situation, i do appreciate the assistance he provided me with that comletely settled my case.- A.A