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Possession of Drugs Charge

Possession of Drugs carries serious consequences.  Regardless of the drug involved, any finding of guilt or conviction for possession of drugs will prevent travel to the United States. Dependent upon the drug and the quantity, jail sentences and lengthy terms of probation can be imposed.

There are numerous defences available.  Most of these cases give rise to search issues.  Have the police overstepped their boundaries?  Have your civil rights to protected from unreasonable search and seizure been violated? Can the Crown prove that you had possession of the drugs as defined by the Criminal Code.  Can the Crown prove you had the necessary knowledge?  Each case depends on its own particular facts.  At Daley, Byers our team of experienced criminal lawyers have successfully defended all types of possession of drugs cases.  We have seen most everything.  Give us a call, we can help.

 

Information on drug charges can be found in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Introduction: Possession of Drugs

There are three types of possession:

  • personal/actual possession
  • constructive possession
  • joint possession

Possession:

4. (3) For the purpose of this act,

(a) a person has anything in possession when he has it in his personal possession or knowingly

(i) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or
(ii) 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
(b) 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.

 

Consequences

Possession of substance
4. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.
Obtaining substance
(2) No person shall seek or obtain

(a) a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or
(b) an authorization to obtain a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV

from a practitioner, unless the person discloses to the practitioner particulars relating to the acquisition by the person of every substance in those Schedules, and of every authorization to obtain such substances, from any other practitioner within the preceding thirty days.

Punishment
(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Punishment
(4) Subject to subsection (5), every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Punishment
(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VIII is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.
Punishment
(6) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Punishment
(7) Every person who contravenes subsection (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(i) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I,
(ii) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II,
(iii) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III, or
(iv) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable
(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Determination of amount
(8) For the purposes of subsection (5) and Schedule VIII, the amount of the substance means the entire amount of any mixture or substance, or the whole of any plant, that contains a detectable amount of the substance.

Possible Outcome for Possession of Drugs Charge

1. withdrawal of the charge due to problems with the Crown’s case
2. withdrawal of charge in exchange for formal or informal diversion
3. negotiated plea bargains
4. trial where the Crown must establish each and every element of the offence beyond reasonable doubt
(a) possession
(b) knowledge
(c) type of the drug
(d) legality of the search
A successful defence to this charge involves a careful analysis of the facts. At Daley Byers we will work together with you to determine your best criminal defence.

Possession of Drugs Charge

At Daley, Byers we have on many cases been able to negotiate a withdrawal of the charge of simple possession of drugs for formal or informal diversion. In other cases we have had charges withdrawn by supplying the Crown with a Statutory Declaration denying knowledge or possession of the drug.  We have also successfully attacked the searches conducted by Police.  In many cases we have also had charges reduced from possession for the purpose of trafficking to the charge of simple possession.  If you or someone you know has been charged with “Possession of Drugs”, call us for a free consultation.  We can help.

Information on drug charges can be found in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

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