Drug Lawyer Toronto
Drug charges, including possession charges, are laid under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act. Despite the recent liberalization of marijuana laws, drugs are illegal in Canada and carry dire consequences upon conviction, as stipulated by the CDSA.
Drug-related cases involve complex legal issues that necessitate the services of an experienced criminal defence attorney. From your bail hearing to the analysis of the available evidence, confirmation of search warrants and trial, a drug possession lawyer can be of great significance to your case.
Zamani law has years of experience defending persons facing drug charges and guiding them through the criminal justice system. If you are charged with such or related drug charges, contact our criminal defence lawyers in Toronto for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What is Drug Possession?
Drug possession is a wide-ranging charge that one can face even when the drugs are not on your person or property. To understand what the offence entails, let’s look at the provisions provided by the CDSA.
As per the CDSA:
- (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, and III.
The Criminal Code of Canada sets out the meaning of possession, which also applies to the possession of drugs, as follows:
- For the purposes of this Act,
- A person has anything in possession when he has it in his personal possession or knowingly
- has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or
- has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to, or is occupied by him, for the use or benefit of himself or of another person; and
- where one of two or more persons, with the knowledge and consent of the rest, has anything in his custody or possession, it shall be deemed to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them.
As per the definition provided by the criminal code, there are three categories of drug possession:
- Actual personal possession – drugs are on your person
- Constructive possession – drugs are with another person or are at another place with your knowledge and consent
- Joint possession – drugs are kept on another person or place with the knowledge and approval of the individuals who own them.
The above shows that as long as you have knowledge and consent as to the location of the drugs, you can be charged even when they are not on your person. This charge is complex, and, therefore, it’s in your best interest to retain an experienced drug possession lawyer to defend you and protect your rights.
Consequences for Drug Possession
Drug possession charges have severe consequences upon the finding of guilt, including a criminal record, fines, incarceration, and probation. This is why it’s advisable to exercise your right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The alternative is pleading guilty to the charges, which could see you facing severe consequences that a lawyer would have helped alleviate or avert.
Drug possession is a hybrid offence. This means that the crown gets to choose if to prosecute the charge as an indictable offence or through summary conviction. Depending on how the Crown proceeds, and the quantity and type of drug involved, here are the potential penalties that one may face:
- Indictable offence:
- Schedule I drugs (hard drugs: cocaine, heroin, opium, GHB) – up to 7 years in prison
- Schedule II drugs – this applies to cannabis extracts, which are now legal in Canada. However, if you’re charged for breaking the set possession regulations, you may face up to 5 years less a day in jail.
- Schedule III drugs (LSD, Magic mushrooms) – up to 3 years in prison.
- Summary offence:
- Schedule I drugs – up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for a first offence, and up to 1 year in prison and/or $2,000 fine for any subsequent offence.
- Schedule II drugs – up to 6 months in prison and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000.
- Schedule III drugs – a fine not exceeding $1000 and/or up to 6 months in prison; a fine not exceeding $2000 and up to 1 year in jail for subsequent offences.
The penalties imposed upon conviction largely depend on the quantity and type of drug involved. Other factors that play a role during sentencing include criminal history (if any), connection to a criminal organization, importation of the involved drugs, and more.
If you’re facing drug possession charges, consider the possible consequences before talking to the police or pleading guilty. A criminal record will have a massive negative impact on your reputation, future employment, immigration status, and ability to travel abroad. Therefore, if charged with drug possession, contact a lawyer to guide you through the judicial process, negotiate with the prosecution, and fight the charges against you.
Call 647-697-6954 for a free evaluation of your case.
Defending Drug Possession Charges
Just because your case involves drugs, it doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically face jail time. As per the case against you, including evidence and witnesses, a criminal defence lawyer can develop a viable and robust defence to fight the allegations against you.
For our lawyers to effectively build a defence strategy, they’ll require:
- A complete statement of the circumstances leading up to the charge
- Witnesses to support your version of events (if any)
- Documents, records, and photographs about the event and case against you
Apart from the above, lawyers analyze all the case details to identify any weaknesses and strengths. This includes any violation of your charter rights and systemic errors.
Zamani Law has years of experience successfully protecting persons facing drug possession charges. With our expertise and knowledge of drug laws, we can help you navigate the charges against you and attain the best possible outcome, including possible withdrawal or reduction of the charges.
If you or someone you love are facing such charges, contact our Toronto criminal defence lawyers for a free assessment of your case.
Consult Toronto Drug Possession Lawyers
Drug possession charges are taken very seriously by the prosecution and the court, and they carry severe consequences upon conviction. Even for first-time offenders, there’s a possibility of facing a lengthy jail sentence. Therefore, if you’re facing such allegations, enlist an experienced criminal defence lawyer to handle your case.
Zamani Law offers a free, no-obligation consultation. Feel free to contact us at 647-697-6954.
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I was referred to Mr. Zamani by a friend of mine and I was extremely happy with Mr. Zamani. His very knowledgeable and professional. If you have any legal issues feel free to contact him for help. Thank you very much Mr. Zamani and his team.- Abdul Ataey