Drug Offences Lawyer in Edmonton, AB
If you’ve been charged with the possession, production or trafficking of illegal drugs or controlled substances, you’ll be charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Drug offence charges often result in jail time and a criminal record. So, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer to defend you in court.
At RG Defence, our skilled and accomplished criminal defence lawyers will provide you with the legal representation you need and work in your best interests to defend you in court. We have successfully represented clients facing drug-related charges throughout Alberta.
What Is a Drug Offence?
Controlled drugs and substances are organized into groups called schedules. There are six schedules where the drugs are divided based on their chemical properties and the effects they cause. Under the CDSA, the most common types of drug offences are:
- Possession: Possession of any of the drugs in schedules I, II and III of the CDSA is an offence unless the individual is authorized to be in possession of the drugs. The prosecutor must prove that you had physical custody of the drug – in that the drug was on your body or in a place you control – and that you were aware that the substance is illegal. If you’re found guilty of possession, you face one to six years in prison.
- Possession with intent to traffic: It’s an offence to traffic any scheduled substances. Furthermore, you don’t have to be directly involved with the sale of drugs to be convicted. If you provide the money, hold drugs for a friend or help someone access the drugs, you can be found guilty of this offence. The penalties for trafficking range from 18 months in prison to a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The CDSA directs the court to consider certain mitigating and aggravating factors, such as:
- Drug type and quantity seized
- Possibility of violence
- Past criminal record
- Age, employment, prior good character and mental health
Drug offences can be complex, and sometimes people facing even low-level drug offences receive significant jail time. That means it’s absolutely essential to hire an experienced drug offences lawyer as soon as you’re charged. Having a lawyer can greatly influence the outcome of your case.
How Can a Criminal Defence Lawyer Help You?
A criminal offence lawyer is able to help in the following ways:
1. Explaining Your Charges
The criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to drug-related offences, can be very complicated. These offences include repercussions such as fines and often significant jail time. A lawyer will help you prepare for the case by explaining the charges, the evidence collected against you and the relevant penalties.
2. Negotiating with the Prosecutor to Reduce or Drop Charges
Drug offences lawyers can work with prosecutors and judges to determine how serious the crime is, how much evidence exists against their clients or what their clients’ role was. A good lawyer may be able to persuade a judge to reduce the sentence or drop the charges entirely. Lesser charges often come with fewer legal commitments and little to no jail time.