Skilled criminal defence lawyer protects your rights
When it comes to drug charges of any kind, law enforcement has little tolerance. Controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are considered a danger to the public, and anyone caught using, possessing, or distributing them faces serious penalties. Fortunately, with the right defence counsel, you can fight back.
I am Yoav Niv — a veteran criminal defence lawyer who advocates passionately for clients facing drug charges in Calgary. I realize that you may be intimidated or anxious about your case and the penalties against you. Rest assured, I understand exactly what you are going through, and I will work tirelessly to help you build a solid drug charge defence.
Types of drug charges in Canada we handle
Other countries, like the United States, have many classifications for drug crimes, including selling, possessing, distributing, and trafficking.
In Canada, drug charges fall under two distinct categories: possession and trafficking.
- Possession of drugs — According to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act, it is unlawful to have illegal drugs on your person or in your possession at any time, regardless of whether the controlled substance in question belongs to you. The prosecutor need only prove that you had “knowledge and control” to secure a conviction. “Knowledge and control” means that you knew of the drugs and they were either on your person or in a location that you control, i.e., your car, apartment, etc.
- Drug trafficking —In Canada, drug trafficking encompasses more than the transport or sale of drugs. If you give someone drugs or hold them for a friend, you may be charged with drug trafficking. The police can charge you with drug trafficking if you offer or attempt to sell an illegal substance to another person.
- Production of drugs — Production of drugs charges in Canada attract stiff sentences and can range from operating an illegal “grow-op”, “methlab”, or cooking “soft cocaine” into “Crack”.
- Importation of drugs — Many people think drug importation involves crossing territories with several pounds of a controlled substance. In reality, crossing territories with any amount of a controlled substance is unlawful and can result in severe penalities.
A drug charge conviction can have long-lasting repercussions on your life. You could lose your freedom, reputation, and professional opportunities. A knowledgeable lawyer will fight zealously to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
Types of drugs
At the Yoav Niv law firm, we represent clients accused of possessing or trafficking a wide range of illegal drugs in Canada, including:
- Soft drugs
- Magic Mushrooms
- Marijuana (over the legal limit)
- Hard drugs
- Ecstasy (MDMA)
No matter what type of controlled substance you are arrested for, it’s vital that you seek professional help. Without experienced counsel, you face fines and a tarnished reputation — even jail time.
Factors that contribute to the seriousness of the offence
In Canada, drug possession is a hybrid offence. This means it may be tried as a summary conviction or an indictable offence, depending on the severity of the crime.
Other factors that can impact the seriousness of the charges against you include:
- Your criminal history
- Your history of drug abuse
- Quantity of drugs in question
- Type of drug in question
Many first-time people arrested for possession of a minor amount of soft drugs will likely face a summary conviction. On the other hand, if you are a repeat offender, or arrested for possessing hard drugs, or trafficking, then your case will probably be treated as an indictable offence.
What penalties do you face for drug trafficking in Calgary?
Canada classifies drugs based on Schedule. If you are arrested for drug trafficking in Alberta, seek competent counsel immediately.
Here are some of the most severe penalties you face for drug trafficking:
- For trafficking drugs listed in Schedule I and/or II, you face a maximum of life imprisonment.
- If you are arrested for trafficking Schedule III drugs, you face a maximum sentence of 1.5 years to 10 years in prison.
- You face a maximum of one to three years in prison if police arrest you for trafficking Schedule IV drugs.
No two drug charge cases are the same. After reviewing the details of your case, I can help you tailor a strategic defence that safeguards your rights and future.
Possible drug charge defence strategies
Every drug charge case in Calgary is different. Some of the strategies that may help with your case include:
- Lack of Knowledge — If the prosecution cannot prove that you knew about the existence of the drugs they claim were yours, you could avoid being convicted. In addition, if you testify that you did not know about the presence of drugs and a judge believes you, you can avoid being convicted.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure — Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires police officers to have proper legal grounds to conduct a search. If your defence lawyer is successful in showing that the police did not have the grounds to search you, your home, or your vehicle, then any evidence obtained from that search may be inadmissible in court.
- Personal Use — In a charge of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, the prosecution is required to prove that you possessed the drugs to sell them. If you can prove that you had the drugs for personal possession, you may be able to avoid a more serious trafficking charge.
After you discuss your case with your defence lawyer, you will have a better idea of the type of strategy best suited for your situation.
Contact an experienced drug charge defence lawyer in Calgary
A drug charge can have severe implications for your life. I am Yoav Niv, an experienced drug crime defence lawyer in Calgary. I take great pride in helping my fellow Albertans defend drug crime charges in Calgary and across Alberta. Whether police arrest you for meth, heroin, or cocaine, I can help you build a solid defence. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call 587-968-6721 or contact me online.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a lawyer help me if I am facing a drug charge?
When facing a drug charge, working with an experienced lawyer is essential to get the best possible outcome. A lawyer can provide you with legal advice and ensure that your rights are respected throughout the entire process. They can represent you in court by building a strong defence on your behalf, helping you navigate the criminal justice system. Furthermore, a lawyer might be able to reduce or eliminate your sentence if there are missteps in the investigating officer’s case or if any evidence was obtained without proper grounds. In any situation where you are charged with a crime, having legal representation from a qualified lawyer is critical for success.
What are some things I should do if I am facing a drug charge?
Facing a drug charge can be a daunting experience, and it is best to take the proper steps to ensure that your rights are protected. The first thing you should do is hire an experienced, qualified criminal defence lawyer. A lawyer will ensure you understand your charges and the potential consequences involved and work on developing a defence strategy for your case. It is also essential to comply with court-ordered release conditions and avoid any illegal activity during this process. Taking these precautions can help to provide the best outcome for your case.
What are some things I should not do if I am facing a drug charge?
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being charged with a drug offence, there are several things to avoid. It is important to make sure you do not speak with police officers or anyone else about your case (unless you are speaking with an experienced and qualified criminal defence lawyer). Remain aware of your behaviour while awaiting trial; any questionable activities you partake in could be used as evidence by the prosecution against you. It is also important to avoid misunderstandings during plea negotiations since those arrangements can have long-term consequences, no matter the case’s outcome. In order to have the best chance for a successful outcome, it is incredibly important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible and adhere closely to their counsel throughout all proceedings.