Drug Charges Lawyer in Toronto
Fighting hard for your case should be your priority when charged with a drug-related offence because a conviction means a mark on your life by way of a criminal record.
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Drug Related Offences
If you are charged with a drug-related offence, do not plead guilty before consulting with one of our lawyers. We understand that all criminal allegations are serious to the person charged. At Calvin Barry Professional Corporation, we have successfully defended numerous drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Our firm will raise every possible and realistic defence at your disposal.
Frequent Drug - Related Charges
Calvin Barry and his team have the experience and resources to identify viable defences and Charter of Rights challenges available in a particular case. Some of the charges that we frequently defend against include:
Our firm routinely submits Charter of Rights applications to exclude evidence based on arbitrary stops and illegal searches. Every drug case entails a particular array of possible defences, and our experienced lawyers will raise all the issues during the trial.
The Calvin Barry Professional Corporation has the resources needed to defend you regardless of the severity of the alleged drug charge you are facing.
Drug - Related Offence Defence
Penalties for Drug Related Crimes
It’s not just about the penalties. It’s also about what they are and how they impact you. That’s why understanding them is so important when it comes to drug-related crimes.
FAQ for Charges of Drug Possession
The Crown Attorney must prove that the item in question involved in a drug possession case is indeed an illegal drug according to the definition set by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Without a medical exemption, the following drugs are illegal in Canada: cocaine, crystal meth, ecstasy, GHB, hashish, heroin, ketamine, LSD, magic mushrooms,, opium and more.
A testimony from a police officer saying that something looked like an illegal drug is not enough. The alleged illegal substance has to be proven by the Crown and entered into evidence with a “Certificate of Analysis” by an analyst from Health Canada after testing. If the Crown Attorney forgets to enter the drug certificate into evidence, the drug case may result in an acquittal. Know that the Crown Attorney must likewise prove that the individual charged with a case was truly possessing the illicit drug.
The Crown needs to prove two things to prove drug possession.
(1) is that the individual should know what the item is and
(2) the individual must have control over it to some extent.
Just having an illegal drug in your person is not enough to establish actual drug possession if there is any doubt regarding your knowledge of the item’s existence. For instance, if you borrowed a piece of clothing from someone and they forgot to take out some illegal drugs from their pockets. In this situation, the wearer of the clothes was truly not aware of illicit drugs. If an individual is not aware that drugs were in the clothing, that individual cannot be found guilty of drug possession.
Another situation can be if someone did not know that a substance they have is illegal. An example would be if someone was asked to carry some cocaine, but the person just thought it was either sugar or salt. The knowledge that something is an illegal substance is required to establish possession.
With the above said, mistaking narcotic drugs for another illegal substance is not a strong defence for a case of drug possession and will not lead to an acquittal.
Being found guilty of drug possession in Canada does not require actual ownership of the item.
The Crown is required to prove that a person charged with drug possession has some control over the drug even after it was already proved that they have knowledge of the illicit drug.
Yes. Joint possession of an illicit drug is possible when one of two or more persons has possession of a drug with the consent and knowledge of the others.
What differentiates constructive possession from joint possession is that joint possession requires only consent that someone controls the illegal drug. In contrast, constructive possession requires that a person has some level of control over the item in question.
As proven by evidence, if someone permitted another individual to hide illegal drugs in their bag or apartment, that person can be found guilty of joint drug possession.
One of the most common issues in a drug case trial is whether the police obtained the evidence legally or illegally according to constitutional standards. Even if the Crown can prove that the item is indeed an illegal drug and establish that the accused has possession of the illegal substance, an illegal search is unconstitutional in Canada.
Canadian citizens are protected against unreasonable police searches and detention no matter who they are. Evidence cannot be used to prove allegations against an individual. When the police have obtained evidence by violating a person’s constitutional rights, the Court may not admit the evidence for the trial. The accused’s lawyer can bring this up to the judge as a “Charter Challenge,” referring to the constitutional protections stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Calvin Barry is a Toronto drug possession lawyer who can successfully argue Charter Challenges to exclude illegally obtained pieces of evidence from drug cases. This is an effective defence for scenarios wherein the police did not have a valid reason to perform a search that resulted in the discovery of illegal drugs.
It is possible to challenge the reason for issuing a warrant even when the police carried a valid search warrant issued by a judge to search a location where drugs were found. If a review uncovers that the original warrant was obtained with the presentation of inaccurate and unreliable information, that warrant can be ruled invalid. Evidence secured with an invalid warrant may be excluded as evidence in a trial, and as a result, the case may result in a “not guilty” verdict.
What is the difference between a charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking and just possession of drugs?
Someone charged with possession of a narcotic for trafficking must be proven by the Crown that the person was indeed in possession of the drug and that the found item is illegal. In addition to this, the Crown must prove that the person found in possession of the drugs intends to give or sell the drugs to other individuals.
A person possessing illegal drugs has the drugs, but any intent to see or distribute either cannot be proven or has no basis.
What are the considerations that the Court observes to assess if a person has possession of illegal drugs for trafficking?
The factors that the Court will examine to determine if a case is possession of a drug for trafficking include:
- the amount of drugs involved
- the monetary value of the drugs involved
- the types and presence of drug paraphernalia found
- the value amount of money found
- the coinage or denomination of the money found on the accused or with the accused
- all statements uttered by the accused
- any association of the accused with known drug traffickers
- any unexplained wealth of the accused; and
- the reputation or credibility of defence witnesses
Know that a charge of possession for trafficking may result from being found with a large amount of any illegal drug; however, this doesn’t automatically mean a conviction. An accused can testify that the amount is their stash because they are a regular consumer of illicit drugs.
This type of admission will not be a valid defence against a charge of drug possession. Still, the judge can reduce a charge of drug possession for trafficking to simply a charge of drug possession, which can have a significantly lesser sentence.
A drug charge of possession for trafficking is based on the possibility that the drugs in question will be trafficked in the future. The Crown attorney does not need to prove that the accused sold drugs.
What are the sentences for drug possession and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking charges?
The type of sentence that a judge may give for drug possession charges can vary because of many factors. Generally, the considerations taken by the Court include:
- The quantity of the drug.
- The reason for the possession of the drug.
- The type of drug involved.
Generally speaking, drug addicts are treated with more leniency by the Court than individuals who are alleged to be possessing or trafficking drugs for financial gain.
Each sentence is specific to the details of the case and requires an in-depth assessment of the circumstances involved to ensure that appropriate penalties are given. Usually, individuals found to be in possession of ‘soft drugs’ such as hashish or marijuana are less likely to get a jail sentence than individuals found to be in possession of ‘hard drugs’ such as heroin and cocaine. Individuals who were found to be in possession of huge quantities of drugs can end up facing multiple years of jail time.
Know that someone with a minor drug charge can avoid having a criminal record or have the drug charges against them withdrawn with the help of an experienced defence lawyer.
At the present time, courts in Canada are required to impose minimum imprisonment sentences for some drug charges in Canada. Contact us at Calvin Barry Professional Corporation if you have specific questions about this, and we will be happy to answer them for you.
At Calvin Barry Professional Corporation, we take all criminal allegations seriously and work hard to provide the best defence possible for our clients. We are experienced with defending drug offences and will ensure that all potential defences are explored and used to the best of our capabilities.
Get Defended from Drug Charges with Calvin Barry
Making sure you do everything possible to defend yourself should be your main focus if you are accused of a drug-related crime. A guilty verdict will permanently mark your record, which can majorly affect your future.
Do not plead guilty to any drug-related offence without speaking to one of our experienced lawyers. We will work hard to find the best defence for your case and ensure you receive a fair trial. Our lawyers have the expertise to help you protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.
Our clients praise us for our outstanding results, personable service and expert knowledge. Here are a couple of things some of them had to say:
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