Simple possession refers to the charge of having a drug in your possession that is listed in the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA). This statute lists 8 different schedules of controlled drugs.
The criminal punishment for drug possession is determined by the Schedule of Drugs as well as the amount of drugs possessed. Possession includes possessing the narcotics on your person, knowingly arranging for another individual to possess them, and/or knowingly placing or storing them in a location where you may access them. Our Toronto-based law firm has significant experience defending drug possession charges in courts all throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
What are Canada’s Drug Laws?
Sections 4–7 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are used to prosecute drug offences in Canada in most scenarios. Schedules are used to arrange controlled substances in Canada. Opiates (such as heroin), cocaine, methamphetamine, other amphetamines (such as MDMA), and numerous other less-popular narcotics are all classified as Schedule I substances. Marijuana and its derivatives are among the Schedule II drugs. Many psychedelic substances, as well as some pharmaceuticals, are included in Schedule III. Some pharmaceuticals are legal to possess but illegal to seek, traffic, or export under Schedule IV. Additional schedules cover personal quantities of cannabis as well as substances that can be used to manufacture illicit drugs.
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
The CDSA’s definition of possession is much broader than you may expect. It encompasses not only having narcotics in your possession, but also:
• Knowing that narcotics are in someone else’s possession or custody and having a degree of control over them.
• Having drugs in any location, whether or not that location belongs to or is occupied by you, for your own or another person’s use or benefit.
Many individuals are surprised to learn that it is not necessary to actually physically possess narcotics in order to be prosecuted. Drug possession can be committed in a number of ways, including constructive possession and joint possession. Constructive possession refers to when you don’t have drugs on you or in your possession, but you have a degree of control over them. When other people have physical possession and control over drugs with your knowledge and cooperation, that is known as joint possession.
Being Charged with a Drug Offence
When someone is arrested for a drug offence in Toronto, they are usually released on bail or held in custody pending a bail hearing. They may be released on the condition that they do not possess any drugs or prescription medications that are not in their own name.
If you’ve been charged with a drug offence, you should immediately consult an experienced criminal lawyer.
How To Defend Drug Offences
One of the most frequent defences to drug possession or drug trafficking accusations is to assert that the police collected the evidence against you in a way that violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada. The evidence against you may be excluded if the police violated your rights under Sections 8, 9, or 10 of the Charter. The prosecution must also prove that the suspected items are drugs or were intended to be drugs, and that the accused had possession of them.
Possession of Hard Drugs
The Canadian government has historically taken a tough approach against cases involving hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. These drugs have a significant potential for addiction. Ordinary people who begin using heavy drugs as a recreational activity frequently become addicted to them. Their lives are often ruined as a result of their drug addiction. They shift to committing additional crimes to support their addiction.
Rehabilitation should be the priority for first-time offenders arrested and charged with simple possession of a controlled substance. The objective of a just society would be to rehabilitate the individual and dissuade them from consuming these substances again. However, due to the nature of the criminal justice system, these people often end up being labelled as criminals and receive criminal records.
In the appropriate case, a criminal lawyer can show that it is in society’s and the defendant’s best interests to assist in their rehabilitation rather than permanently prejudice their life by imposing a criminal record.
Each case is unique. However, we have a long and successful track record of assisting people in avoiding a criminal record as a result of drug accusations.
Narcotic offences, also known as drug charges, are a complex area of the law. It is a very litigious and ever-changing area of law that necessitates lawyers to be up-to-date on the most recent jurisprudence involving the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Many cases, for example, will rely on police conduct, such as whether they had sufficient reason for a stop and search, search and seizures without a warrant, and other advanced police investigation methods. We are heavily experienced in Constitutional litigation and locating Charter violations. In the defence of our clients we pursue and seek every legal argument available.
Our Past Results in Drug Possession Cases
R. v. K.R: The client was arrested for possession for the purpose to traffic fentanyl and methamphetamine during a police stop in Brampton. The defence was able to demonstrate during the discovery preliminary hearing that the arresting officers violated a number of the client’s charter rights. The Crown stayed all charges at the first appearance in the Superior Court of Justice.
R. v. I.D.: The client was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking as it related to cocaine and fentanyl stemming from a police investigation in Milton. He was located in a motor vehicle with a quantity of drugs found in the trunk. After engaging in a detailed review of the disclosure, a number of serious issues became apparent. After ongoing discussions on the matter with the Crown, the prosecution withdrew all charges.
R. v. L.L.: The client was charged with a great number of charges, including: possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime, and multiple counts of possession of a prohibited firearm as a result of a search warrant executed in Toronto. It was the defence’s position that the Crown could not prove that the client had knowledge or control of the items. After multiple pretrials, the Crown agreed to stay the charges.
R. v. H.M.: The client was charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The client was allegedly observed by an officer in Brampton engaging in a hand-to-hand transaction with a known drug user. He was arrested, and a quantity of cocaine was located. The client was self-represented for nearly a year before retaining us, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled. After Alex Karapancev reviewed the disclosure and spotted evident problems in the nature of the police investigation, the Crown ultimately agreed to stay the charges.
R. v. J.D.: The client was arrested for possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime over $5000. The charges were withdrawn following continued discussions with the Crown.
R. v. R.C.: Charges were brought against the client as a result of a large police project. The client was charged with a variety of offences. Exporting fentanyl and conspiracy to export fentanyl were two of these charges, for which he was charged alongside four other co-defendants. Our client was discharged on those counts at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing.
R. v. I.H.: The client was arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession for the purpose of trafficking. The drugs were discovered following the execution of a search warrant at the client’s alleged home in Toronto. The defence cross-examined police witnesses and contended that there was insufficient evidence linking the client to the drugs at the preliminary hearing. The court agreed, and all charges were dismissed.
R. v. P.B. The client was charged with possession of cocaine as a result of a police investigation in Brampton. Following an examination of the disclosure, it became clear that the police violated a number of the client’s constitutional rights. The charges were withdrawn following discussions with the Crown prosecutor.
Disclaimer: Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Every case is unique.