Common Types of Drug Charges
Drug possession is the most common drug-related offence. The Crown Prosecutor must prove that the item seized is a controlled substance and that the accused had knowledge and control of the substance.
The most common controlled substances are:
There is a significant difference in sentencing for possession offences depending on the Schedule in which the substance is registered and the quantity seized. The quantity seized is generally minor to qualify for a possession offence. The greater the quantity, the greater the likelihood that the individual will be charged with drug trafficking rather than simple possession.
Being convicted of drug possession has significant lifelong impacts on travel and employment. Even if convicted of possession of a very minor amount of drugs, it generally carries a lifetime ban on entry to the United States, even if the offender receives a pardon.
In order to properly defend possession charges, it is important to have a highly skilled lawyer by your side. Cory Wilson has successfully represented countless individuals charged with drug possession.
Possession of a scheduled substance for the purpose of trafficking is most commonly known as drug trafficking. The Crown Prosecutor must prove that the accused had possession of the controlled substance and it was possessed for the purpose of trafficking rather than personal consumption. Often, the element of trafficking is made out through police undercover purchases from the seller. Trafficking can also be inferred by the quantity of drugs seized. The greater the quantity seized, the greater the punishment if convicted.
Being convicted of drug trafficking carries lengthy jail sentences up to life imprisonment. Most often, the drugs are seized from the accused’s home or vehicle after lengthy police investigations. As a result, most defences to trafficking charges relate to issues with the police investigation including the lawfulness of the search and seizure.
Drug trafficking is an incredibly complex area of law often involving wiretap, confidential informants, undercover police officers and Charter issues relating to the law on search and seizure. Due to its complexity, it is important to have a highly skilled defence lawyer by your side. Cory Wilson has significant experience representing individuals charged with drug trafficking ranging from street-level dial-a-dope operations to seizures of massive quantities of drugs worth millions of dollars.
Importing illegal drugs into Canada carries significant penalties including substantial fines and lengthy jail time. In addition, being convicted of importation carries with it a lifetime ban from travelling to the United States, among other countries. An individual may be convicted of importing drugs into Canada even if they did not personally transport the drugs across the border. Proof that the accused caused the drugs to be brought into the country is sufficient grounds for an importation conviction.
To be convicted of drug importation, the prosecutor must prove several elements including that the accused knew he or she was in possession of the drug and that the drug is in fact a controlled substance. If the individual unknowingly brought the drugs into the country, they cannot be convicted of importation because they did not possess the requisite knowledge that they were importing a drug.
Drug importation is a complex area of law often involving wiretap, confidential informants and Charter issues relating to the law on search and seizure. Due to its complexity, it is important to have a highly skilled defence lawyer by your side. Cory Wilson has experience representing individuals charged with drug importation and is committed to an unwavering defence of such charges.
Drug manufacturing/production is a serious offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Production can include the following:
- Manufacturing, synthesizing or using any means of altering the chemical or physical properties of the substance, or
- Cultivating, propagating or harvesting the substance or any living thing from which the substance may be extracted or otherwise obtained, and
- Includes an offer to produce
If convicted, the penalties for production or cultivation of an illegal substance range from maximum jail sentences between 3 years and life, depending on the quantity and type of substance. The cultivation of marijuana in large quantities carries a maximum jail term of 14 years, whereas the production of cocaine or heroin can carry a maximum penalty of life. In determining the appropriate sentence, a number of factors are considered:
- Size of the operation
- Level of sophistication
- Evidence of fortification
- Presence of weapons
- Presence of children
- Threats to health and safety
- Theft of utilities
- Degree of participation (crop-sitter)
- Intended use of drugs (personal vs commercial)
Drug production is an incredibly complex area of law often involving Charter issues relating to the law on search and seizure. Due to its complexity, it is important to have a highly skilled defence lawyer by your side. Cory Wilson has experience successfully representing individuals charged with drug production and is committed to an unwavering defence of such charges.
Cory Wilson is a criminal defence lawyer based in Calgary. If you have been charged with a criminal offence or are a suspect in a criminal investigation, call today for a free, no obligation consultation.