Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Toronto
Canada is currently facing a national wide opioid crisis, which has led to stringent drug laws. Persons charged with drug offences are at a greater risk of facing severe penalties, even for minor possession charges. For major drug offences, such as trafficking of synthetic drugs, the prosecution pushes for maximum sentences offered by the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA).
This article will look into drug trafficking offences and the possible consequences that one may face upon conviction. As you’ll see in this article, trafficking offences are no mere charges, and they necessitate representation by an experienced Toronto criminal defence lawyer.
What is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking entails a wide range of criminal activities that carry dire consequences for the accused parties. Trafficking can be defined as giving, selling, attempting to sell, or delivering an illicit drug or controlled substance to another person.
Like other drug charges, drug trafficking offences are listed under the CDSA, which states that:
- (1) No person shall traffic in a substance included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.
(2) no person shall, for the purpose of trafficking, possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V.
Section 5(2) refers to the charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking. For this charge, the federal Crown needs to prove that the quantity of the drugs you were found with could only have been for trafficking.
As Per the CDSA, trafficking, in respect of an illicit substance, means:
- to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send, or deliver the substance,
- to sell an authorization to obtain the substance, or
- to offer to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b),
otherwise than under the authority of the regulations
One can face drug trafficking charges even for giving drugs to your friends for safekeeping or offering to sell or procure an illicit substance for an undercover police officer. Many other instances can lead to drug trafficking charges, and it’s in your best interest to retain an attorney if you’re facing such allegations.
At Zamani Law, we are well-versed with drug trafficking charges and the complexity of the laws involved. Our experienced lawyers can help you navigate the system and devise a defence to fight the charges against you.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Penalties of Drug Trafficking
To curb the opioid crisis and prevent other illicit drugs from ravaging Canadians, the CDSA provides harsh penalties for drug trafficking convictions, including minimum sentences. Compared to penalties for drug possession charges, trafficking carries the most severe ones.
Since drug trafficking is a hybrid offence, the Crown elects to prosecute each crime summarily or as an indictable offence. Depending on how they choose to proceed, the possible penalties upon conviction vary.
Here are some of the penalties for drug trafficking as provided by the CDSA:
Schedule I and II Drugs:
An offence of trafficking schedule I and II drugs is treated as an indictable offence. If found guilty, one may be sentenced to life imprisonment (25 years). These charges also pose minimum imprisonment sentences, which vary from 1 to 2 years in prison based on the circumstances surrounding the crime as stipulated by the CDSA:
- minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 1 year if:
- the person committed the offence for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization, as defined in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code,
- the person used or threatened to use violence in committing the offence,
- the person carried, or used or threatened to use a weapon in committing the offence, or
- the person was convicted of a designated substance offence or had served a term of imprisonment for a designated substance offence within the previous ten years, or
- minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years if:
- the person committed the offence in or near a school, on a or near school grounds, or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of 18 years,
- the person committed the offence in prison, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, or on its grounds, or
- the person used the services of a person under the age of 18 years, or involved such a person, in committing the offence
Schedule III Drugs:
For schedule III drugs, the possible penalties are:
- Indictable offence: a jail term not exceeding 10 years
- Summary offence: a jail term not exceeding 18 months
Schedule IV Drugs:
The penalties for schedule IV drugs are:
- Indictable offence: up to 3 years in jail
- Summary offence: up to 1 year in jail
There are other punishments, including probation and community sentence, that the court may impose upon a drug trafficking conviction. The sentence issued is dependent on the type and amount of drug seized, among other factors.
Contact A Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Toronto
When charged with drug offences, the possible consequences upon conviction are pretty severe, life-long, and damaging. This is why it’s vital to exercise your right to remain silent and seek legal counsel if charged with drug trafficking in Toronto.
At Zamani law, we offer free, no-obligation consultation. Let us assess your case today and devise the best way to fight the charges against you.
Call us at (647) 363-7739 to speak to one of our drug trafficking lawyers in Toronto.
There was no exchange of money; can I still be charged with drug trafficking?
As per the CDSA provisions on drug trafficking, the exchange of money is not required for one to be charged with drug trafficking. The simple act of offering to sell, give or transport illicit drugs can lead to charges.
Why shouldn’t I just plead guilty to drug trafficking charges?
Although it may seem like a good idea to plead guilty and “get over with it,” the consequences of a drug trafficking conviction are quite severe, even for small quantities of drugs. Apart from the jail sentence imposed by a judge, a conviction impacts your employment, travel, and social life. Therefore, no matter how strong the Crown’s case is, do not plead guilty without seeking legal advice. An experienced drug trafficking lawyer can review your case and find weaknesses to build a viable defence or negotiate for a better deal.
Our Toronto drug trafficking lawyers have extensive experience and knowledge on drug charges and laws, and they can evaluate your case and advice on the best way to proceed. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
What are the consequences of a drug trafficking conviction?
A drug trafficking conviction has the following consequences:
- Lengthy jail term
- It affects your immigration status in Canada
- Leads to travel restriction to the United States
- Causes employment restrictions
- Can affect access to your children in family law proceedings
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