Drug Possession Charges Lawyer in Toronto
What Is Drug Possession?
The Controlled Substances and Drug Act defines several different types of drug offences. Drug possession is defined in Section 4 of the Act and is one of the more common drug offences one could be charged with, if any amount of controlled substances or drugs listed in the Act, are found in the possession of a person.
According to Section 4, Possession of a Substance offences are committed when:
Any person, unless otherwise authorized under regulations, possesses any drug or substance listed within Schedule I, II, or III of the Act.
Any person attempts to obtain a substance or drug listed within Schedule I, II, III, or IV or the act, or attempts to obtain authorization for a substance or drug listed within Schedule I, II, III, or IV of the Act from a practitioner, unless the person provides information relating to the reason why they need to acquire the drug or substance listed in the Schedules, and for every authorization to obtain such drugs or substances listed in the Schedules, they inform the practitioner of any other attempts to obtain such drugs or substances from another practitioner within the previous thirty days.
The punishments for drug possession offences are directly related to the type of drug or substance found in your possession, as well as the quantity of the drug or substance. The Act contains specific Sections and Schedules to be used to determine the appropriate sentencing guidelines for someone, who has plead guilty to, taken a plea agreement, or is convicted and found guilty of a drug possession offence.
In addition, the severity of the punishment for a drug possession offence is based upon whether it is a first offence or repeat offence. It is worth mentioning, most drug possession offences do have varying mandatory periods of imprisonment, even for first time offenders under particular circumstances.
Drug Possession FAQs
There are often certain misconceptions people in regards to their rights and being charged with drug possession offences. In this section we will review some of the more common drug possession FAQs.
Do the police have the right to search my property?
The police have certain rights and legal responsibilities they must follow, otherwise they are violating your legal rights. In regards to searching property, you have different rights based upon your location when the police demand to search your property.
In Your Home
Unless the police are responding to a call or have reasonable suspicion criminal activity is occurring, and they do not have a warrant, you do not have to answer your door or allow the police into your home.
However, if you do invite them in, they still do not have permission to search the home unless you give them permission to do so. Further, the police must have some purpose or reason for coming to your home. They simply cannot go door-to-door looking to see if criminal activity is occurring in people’s homes.
In Your Vehicle
If you are in your car and stopped by the police, they do not have the right to search the vehicle or your person, unless they have reasonable suspicion, such as the smell of drugs or an indication of impairment. The police only have the power to request you provide your insurance, registration and license. During the course of a traffic stop, the police may ask or order you to exit the vehicle so they can search it. Unless you have given them permission to do so or they have reasonable suspicion, this is a violation of your rights.
On the Streets
When you are walking on the streets, if the police ask to speak with you, you have the right to question why they want to speak with you and also refuse to speak with them. If they have reasonable suspicion you pose a safety risk to them, but are not arresting you, they do have the right to conduct a pat down, but cannot search your pockets. On the other hand, if the police are arresting you on suspicion of criminal activity, they do have the right to do a full search of your clothing.
Can I be charged with more than one drug offence?
Yes. Depending upon the amount of substance or drugs found in your possession, you could potentially be charged with additional drug offences.
If I dispose of the drugs before the police search me can I still be charged?
The substance or drugs does not have to be currently in your possession to be charged with drug possession. As long as the police can substantiate the drugs, were at some point in your actual possession, you could still be charged.
For instance, you throw a small bag containing a controlled substance or drug into the bushes because you believe the police are going to search you. If the officer saw, or a witness reports they saw you throwing something into the bushes, and the police search the area and find the drugs, they could charge you with possession.
What if the controlled substance or drugs are not mine?
It depends upon the circumstances and situation as to whether you could be charged with drug possession. If a friend asked you to hold onto their drugs for them and they are found in your possession, you may be charged with possession.
Contact Farjoud Law
If you or someone you care about has been charged with drug possession offence, it is in your best interests to speak directly to a criminal defence lawyer in North York, Toronto to find out your rights and get your questions answered. Call Farjoud Law now at (647) 606-6776 to speak with a criminal lawyer to discuss your matter. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Farjoud Law is located at 4950 Yonge Street, Suite 2200 in the neighbourhood of North York in Toronto, Ontario. Click here for directions to our law office.
Please note that this article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. In order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests, please consult a criminal defence lawyer prior to acting or relying upon any information.