An Experienced Toronto Drug Trafficking Lawyer
You will need a qualified and highly skilled drug-trafficking lawyer if you or a loved one is involved in a major drug-trafficking case. For a thorough evaluation of your case, contact Mr. Karapancev.
Alexander Karapancev, a drug trafficking lawyer in Toronto, has regularly obtained acquittals, dismissals, and other successful outcomes for clients accused of drug dealing, frequently in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence. He has significant experience with constitutional litigation and search-and-seizure law, and has successfully sought the exclusion of evidence in a number of cases.
In Canada, drug trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking (P4P), is an extremely serious criminal offence. If you are found convicted, you may face the prospect of a significant prison sentence. You need Alex Karapancev, an experienced Toronto criminal lawyer, fighting to protect your rights and liberties.
We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area, and across Ontario who are being investigated or have been charged with drug trafficking, including:
Our approach when dealing with these cases is to vigorously defend the client by developing a skillful and strategic defence.
We will examine every detail of your arrest, including whether the authorities had a valid search warrant and if they executed it correctly. For example, were you pulled over while driving and then searched without proper grounds? We will fight to exclude evidence collected unlawfully from being used against you in court.
Possession for the purpose of trafficking
Possession for the purpose of trafficking is a violation of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (“CDSA”), which makes having a scheduled substance in your possession for the purpose of selling, administering, giving, transferring, transporting, sending, or delivering it a serious offence.
Although possession for the purpose of trafficking is not a criminal offence under the Criminal Code, it is prosecuted in the same way and bears the same consequences.
The Crown must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction for possession for the purpose of trafficking:
- You were in possession of a controlled substance as defined by the Controlled Substances and Substances Act.
- You were aware that you were in possession of a controlled substance.
- You were not authorized to possess the drug.
- You possessed the substance with the intent of trafficking it.
The prosecution must prove that the narcotic found was an illicit drug and that the accused was in possession of it in order to secure a conviction. The Crown must also prove that the accused had the drugs in order to sell (or provide) them to others.
Factors related to Trafficking
If the police have cause to believe that the narcotics will be distributed in the future, the offence of possession for the purpose of trafficking can be utilized. The Crown is not required to establish that the drugs had previously been sold. To assess whether the trafficking charge is warranted, the Crown will consider a number of elements, including the following:
- The total amount of narcotics seized;
- Illicit substance packaging and presentation;
- The street price of the substances;
- The total amount of cash seized;
- Lists of customers and debt lists;
- The accused’s and any witness’ statements;
- Any ties to well-known drug dealers;
Defences in Drug Trafficking Cases
If your case goes to trial, the following defences against drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic, and possession for the purpose of trafficking may be applicable:
Not in possession: If you had no knowledge that you were transporting or selling a drug, or thought you were moving or selling a lawful substance, you may be able to persuade the judge that you lacked the necessary knowledge or control over the drug to avoid a criminal conviction. You may still be found guilty if the Crown successfully proves that you were willfully blind to the drug’s presence.
Entrapment: Entrapment is considered an abuse of process, and it is traditionally difficult to prove at trial. Entrapment can typically be established in two scenarios. The first is when the authorities give someone the opportunity to commit a crime without acting on a reasonable suspicion that they were already involved in criminal behaviour or in response to a bona fine. The second is when the authorities go above and beyond providing a mere opportunity, but rather induce the accused to commit the crime.
Purpose of trafficking cannot be proven: The Crown will normally call a police expert witness to testify in court to prove possession for the purpose of trafficking. They’ll testify that the circumstances surrounding the drug seizure point to the narcotics being intended for sale or distribution. The way the pills are packaged — several little packs imply trafficking – is typical evidence. Scales, “score sheets,” cash, and cell phones are all signs of drug trafficking. Our experience fighting drug charges enables us to craft arguments geared at challenging expert Crown witnesses’ assertions that the circumstances of the drug seizure imply trafficking rather than simple possession.
Violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Charter applications, which outline the ways in which police violated your Charter rights during a criminal investigation, can be used to secure the exclusion of evidence. An improperly issued search warrant, examining your automobile without legal authority, refusing to allow you to consult with counsel, and other violations may be pleaded in your defence. An application can be made to have evidence removed from your trial based on one or more violations of your rights.
One of the most common methods of defending drug possession or drug trafficking accusations is to demonstrate that the police collected the evidence against you in a way that violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada. If the police violated your Charter rights, the evidence against you may be excluded.
The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed by Section 8 of the Charter. In a drug case, defence counsel’s job frequently includes assessing the activities of investigating police officers to determine whether they conducted a valid search as permitted by the Charter. Drug searches can occur in a variety of situations and locations. In some cases, police must first acquire pre-authorization from a judge or justice before searching a location or property. The need for a search warrant will be determined by the accused’s privacy interest in the thing being searched. For example, a person’s privacy in their home or on their computer is very important to them. They have a lower level of privacy interest in things like a friend’s automobile or their boss’ place of business. We will apply to the court under s. 24(2) of the Charter to have evidence excluded from the trial when police overstep their authority and conduct an unlawful search. The court will typically find insufficient evidence to convict if the drug evidence is not admitted into the trial.
Our Past Results in Drug Cases
R. v. K.R. : The client was charged with fentanyl and methamphetamine possession for the purpose of trafficking as a result of a police investigation in Brampton. The defence was able to demonstrate that the arresting police had violated a number of the client’s charter rights during the discovery preliminary hearing. The Crown stayed all charges at the first appearance in the Superior Court of Justice.
R. v. I.D. : The client was charged with cocaine and fentanyl possession for the purpose of trafficking following a police investigation in Milton. He was discovered in a car with a large amount of drugs in the trunk. Following a thorough examination of the disclosure, a number of major concerns emerged. The prosecution dropped all charges after continuing negotiations.
R. L.L. : The client was accused with a slew of offences, including possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of proceeds of crime, and multiple counts of possessing a restricted firearm, resulting from a search warrant executed in Toronto. The defence argued that the Crown could not prove the client’s knowledge of or control over the contraband. The Crown agreed to stay the charges after a number of pretrials.
R. v. H.M.: The client was accused of possessing cocaine for the purpose to traffic it. An officer in Brampton allegedly witnessed the client engaging in a hand-to-hand transaction with a known drug user. He was apprehended, and a quantity of cocaine was discovered. Before hiring us, the client had been self-representing for about a year, and a preliminary hearing had been scheduled. The Crown agreed to stay the charges after Alex Karapancev studied the disclosure and found obvious flaws in the nature of the police investigation.
R. v. J.D.: The client was accused of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possessing proceeds of crime in over of $5000. The charges were dropped after ongoing discussions with the Crown.
R. v. R.C. : The client was arrested as part of a massive police investigation. A variety of charges were brought against the client. Exporting fentanyl and conspiring to export fentanyl were two of the charges, for which he was charged with four other co-accused. On those counts, our client was dismissed at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing.
R. v. I.H. : The client was accused of possessing cocaine and marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. The drugs were discovered when a search warrant in Toronto was conducted at the client’s alleged residence. The defence questioned the police witnesses at the preliminary hearing, argued that there was insufficient proof linking the client to the drugs. The judge agreed, and all of the charges were dismissed.
R. v. P.B. The client was charged with cocaine possession in Brampton. Following an examination of the disclosure, it became clear that the police had violated several of the client’s constitutional rights. The charges were withdrawn after consultations with the Crown prosecutor.
Disclaimer: Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Every case is unique.