Being found guilty of even a minor drug offence can have serious consequences on your employment and career prospects, as well as your ability to travel freely outside Canada.

Drug charges are prosecuted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) which defines the offences, lays out the potential punishments, grants the police special powers to investigate drug crime, and contains some special rules of evidence that the Crown can rely on when prosecuting you for a drug crime.

There are 5 main drug offences. All amounts and types of drugs involved being equal, the offences are laid out in order of relative seriousness:

  1. possessing a drug;
  2. possessing a drug for the purpose of trafficking it (selling, giving, distributing, trading, etc.)
  3. trafficking a drug (selling, trading, giving, distributing, etc.)
  4. producing a drug (growing, cooking, creating, etc.)
  5. importing a drug into Canada, or exporting it out of Canada (mailing, transporting, etc.)

Evidence that you were involved in a drug offence very frequently comes as a result of the police searching your body, your personal property, your home or other private property. This in turn raises the potential that your rights were violated as a result!

You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and unlawful arrests. If the police obtained evidence from you in a way that violated your rights, you need experienced legal counsel to identify capitalize on those violations in a court of law. Calgary Criminal Lawyers bring those abilities to your defence. Call us today to start working on your defence against these serious charges.

In nearly all cases, the Crown must rely on an official document prepared by a drug analyst to prove that the substance in question was indeed a controlled substance. Using their knowledge of all the rules pertaining to this document (called a Certificate of Analyst”), Calgary Criminal Lawyers will analyze this document and the facts supporting its conclusions for any areas of challenge and attack. In appropriate cases, we will apply to have this document dismissed from evidence because it was not properly completed or based on wrong evidence.

Each offence carries different potential penalties that depend on the amount and type of drug involved.

Controlled drugs and substances are organized into groups called “schedules” in the CDSA according to their chemical properties and the effects they have when consumed. Below are some of the most common substances in each schedule:

  • Schedule I:   OxyContin, cocaine, morphine, heroin, codeine, GHB (the “date rape” drug), opium
  • Schedule II: Cannabis and its derivatives (cannabis resin; marihuana)
  • Schedule III: LSD; psilocybin mushrooms (“magic mushrooms”)
  • Schedule IV: Barbiturates, including clonazepam, diazepram, Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, and anabolic steroids
  • Schedule V: Propylhexedrine and any derived salt
  • Schedule VI: Substances needed to create other drugs: Ephedrine; lysergic acid; norephedrine; pseudoephedrine; potassium permanganate; red phosphorous; white phosphorous; acetone; ethyl ether; sulphuric acid; toluene.