Case Defended: Drug Offences

Drug offences cover charges of possession, trafficking and production of controlled substances. The charges vary based on intent and the type of substance.

Drug laws in Canada have been significantly impacted by the Safe Streets & Communities Act (passed in 2012). The act includes provisions that augment drug charges involving youth, weapons, organized crime and other aggravating factors. It also provides options for addicts charged with drug crimes to undergo addiction treatment programs, which may result in a suspended or reduced sentence.

If you have questions about a drug-related charge, call Rishi Gill and Team at 604.899.1436. Your initial consultation with Rishi is free and includes a review of your case, possible defences and courses of action. When you call, you will speak to Rishi Gill directly (not a paralegal or assistant), so you can be assured that the counsel you receive will be timely and discrete.

What’s the law on drugs in Canada?

Drug offences in Canada are prosecuted under the Food and Drug Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act sections 4 through 7.

Controlled substances in Canada are organized by schedule. Schedule I substances include opiates (like heroin), cocaine, methamphetamine, other amphetamines (such as MDMA) and several other less-popular drugs. Schedule II substances include large amounts of marijuana and its derivatives. Schedule III covers many psychedelic drugs as well as some pharmaceuticals. Schedule IV drugs include some pharmaceuticals that are legal to possess, but illegal to seek, traffic or export. Further schedules include personal quantities of cannabis and substances that can be used to produce drugs.

What happens if I get convicted of a drug offence?

Possession charges can be treated as a summary or indictable offence depending on various factors. The exception to this is the possession of a personal amount of marijuana (up to 30 g) or hash (up to 1 g), which is treated as a summary offence and carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail or a $1,000 fine. Possession of other substances from schedules I and II carry prison sentences of up to 7 years.

Trafficking, production and cultivation offences are much more serious, and can carry jail terms of up to life in prison.

What should I do if I’m charged with a drug offence? Do I need a lawyer?

If you are arrested for a drug crime, no matter how minor, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Good representation can lessen charges. You can even have charges dropped with no criminal record. For more information and a free consultation, contact Rishi Gill and Team at 604.899.1436.