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Justice Hammer with a writing saying, “Drug Possession” and a pair of handcuffs

The Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA) states that it is illegal to knowingly possess any items on a drug schedule. If you are pulled over or arrested with these substances, you will be facing fines and jail time. However, external factors may determine what your consequences will actually look like. Continue reading to learn more about the consequences of drug offences and how a drug lawyer can help you.

Consequences Based on Drug Schedule

Schedule I drugs are "hard drugs" like cocaine and oxycodone. For possession, the penalties range from six months to seven years. For trafficking, the maximum penalty is life in prison (or 25 years).

Schedule II drugs include cannabis along with its derivatives and synthetics. The federal Cannabis Act makes possessing marijuana legal. However, possessing more than a certain amount of cannabis can become a six-month to five-year prison sentence. Trafficking cannabis can result in life in prison (up to 25 years).

Schedule III drugs are amphetamines, including methamphetamine or LSD. Possession can lead to a prison sentence of six months to three years. Trafficking of Schedule III drugs can get you a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of three years in prison.

Schedule IV drugs are pharmaceuticals like diazepam or anabolic steroids. Possession of these prescription drugs ranges from six to 18 months in prison. Trafficking can lead to a prison sentence that ranges from 18 months to three years.

Severity Determined by Crown Prosecutor

Possession is a hybrid offence meaning that the crown prosecutor decides how to treat your offences based on:

• Whether you've received drug charges in the past • The type of drug that was in your possession • How much of that drug you were possessing

For example, a first-time offence with a "soft drug" (i.e., MDMA, Valium, or more than the legal limit of Cannabis), you will receive a summary conviction. Repeated arrests for possession of a more serious drug (i.e., cocaine or heroin) in a greater amount becomes an indictable offence.

A summary conviction penalty results in a $1,000 fine and six months in prison. The first conviction of a smaller amount of a "soft drug" can lead to a $250 to $500 fine and probation. Having a larger amount of a "soft drug" can lead to five years in prison.

The first-time offence of a Schedule I drug (i.e., heroin or cocaine) means that the crown prosecutor can push for a maximum seven-year prison sentence. Aggravating factors can mean that you have to serve a minimum mandatory sentence. Producing and importing illegal drugs may end with you serving 100% of a minimum mandatory sentence.

Hiring a Drug Lawyer

By hiring a drug lawyer as soon as you find yourself in trouble, you will have someone in your corner making sure that you aren't given an unfair sentence. You may even be able to get your charges lessened through your legal advocacy.

You can reach David Wilcox LL.B. day or night via a 24-hour emergency telephone service because he knows that police investigation (and the need for legal aid) doesn't stick to normal office hours.

Contact David Wilcox today to build your criminal defence in Ontario.


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