An experienced drug offence lawyer can defended persons charged with narcotics offences varying from simple possession to substantial drug trafficking of schedule 1 substances. These offences are very serious in nature and even the slightest amount of a schedule 1 substance can result in significant penalties. It is important that if charged with a serious drug offence that you have experienced counsel to guide you through the criminal proceedings and work with you to obtain the best possible result for your individual case. If you have been charged with a drug offence, we advise you to contact our office immediately and seek legal counsel.
The Controlled Drug and Substances Act governs the most common drug offences. These offences include simple possession of a drug for personal use, drug trafficking, and drug importation. The Controlled Drug and Substances Act also creates categories of drugs which are itemized in Schedules. These categories or Schedules determine the seriousness of the offence charged, meaning that a drug trafficking offence alleged to have involved a Schedule I is more serious and carries a higher maximum penalty than one involving a Schedule III drug.
The potential penalties differ not only between different offences, but between the specific type of drugs which underly the same offence. So an accused person convicted of simple possession of cocaine will receive a significantly less severe sentence than an accused person convicted of trafficking cocaine. But an accused person convicted of possession of marijuana will also face a less serious sentence than a similarly placed accused person convicted of possession of heroin or fentanyl.
The statutory maximums range from 3 years to 7 years imprisonment for simple possession (depending on the type of drug possessed), and 3 years to life imprisonment for drug trafficking and importation. The actual sentence that an accused person convicted of a drug offence will receive is typically much less than the maximum, especially for simple possession when the accused person struggles with addiction. However, that is not to say that drug offences do not import significant legal jeopardy: an accused person alleged to have trafficked in a Schedule 1 substance faces the possibly of a substantial term of imprisonment if convicted. And accused persons alleged to have trafficked as part of a sophisticated scheme, amongst other aggravating factors, are at even greater jeopardy of a lengthy sentence of imprisonment.
Regardless of changing cultural attitudes towards drugs, the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and the courts continue to treat drug offences seriously, especially where society-damaging drugs like opioids are concerned. Even individuals accused of simple possession risk obtaining a criminal record along with all of the risks to employment and travel that that entails. Persons accused of drug offences should seek out defence lawyers specifically experienced in these offences as the legal risks can be significant.
If you have any questions, contact our offices now so we can help address you or your loved one’s legal jeopardy. We are available 24/7. We are forceful advocates and we ensure that our clients throughout Alberta are provided with the best defence possible.