What do you do if you are charged with trafficking or possession of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, or heroin?
Under Canadian Law, drug charges are prosecuted by the Federal Department of Justice under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Drug offences can range from very petty offences (for example, simple possession of marijuana under 30g) to very serious offences (for example, importing or trafficking cocaine).
The basic elements of proof in drug cases.
In defending drug offences, there is a common theme of proof of possession, and constitutional violations. Since most drugs are allegedly found by police in rather inconspicuous places (pockets, cars, homes, etc.), there is usually a question as to whether or not the the police discovered them in a lawful manner. Once the drugs are found, there is also a common question as to who is in legal possession of the controlled substance.
Possession of drugs can be proven in a number of ways but the police and Crown typically rely on the circumstantial evidence of where the drug was allegedly found, admissions/confessions by the accused, or wiretap evidence admitting knowledge and control over the items in question. Suffice to say that simply because drugs are found, does not mean that the case is proven. There is a heavy burden on the state to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt against an alleged offender and having a criminal defence lawyer who understands these and other legal issues can maximize your chances of acquittal or minimizing the sentence on conviction.
If you are charged with a drug offence, you should contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your potential options and what defences may be available to you.