Lawyer in Toronto
There is no such thing as a “minor” drug charge. Despite recent talk of liberalizing marijuana laws, drugs are illegal in Canada. Drug charges are investigated by specialized police units and prosecuted by specialized teams of federal prosecutors, different from the more common provincial Crown attorneys. Convictions for drug offences result in serious consequences, including jail, restrictions on entering the U.S., as well as creating serious difficulties for immigration status, post-secondary education, and future employment. Even the smallest drug charge must be handled carefully to avoid these consequences. To defend you, you will need a lawyer with the skills and experience to make sure that your future is not limited because of a drug arrest.
To defend you, you will need a lawyer with the skills and experience to make sure that your future is not limited because of a drug arrest.
At the Defence Group, we have lawyers who have were federal drug prosecutors before becoming defence lawyers, so we know how to prepare the best defence for your case.
Drugs, known as “controlled substances”, are classified according to how seriously the government views them. Schedule 1 contains the most serious drugs, namely cocaine and heroin. Marijuana and its derivatives, such as hashish and oil, are listed in Schedule 2, and classified by weight. So-called “designer drugs” such as LSD, amphetamines, and ecstasy are listed under Schedule 3.The most common drug offences are possession and trafficking, as well as possession for the purpose of trafficking. Cultivation of marijuana, known as “grow-ops” are also an increasingly frequent offence being targeted for investigation and tougher prosecution. Importing drugs is a specialized issue at border crossings and at airports.
There are major differences in the way these offences are treated by police, prosecutors and the courts, depending on the nature of the drug, and whether it is for personal use or sold for profit. While there is some leniency when it comes to small amounts of marijuana for personal use, if marijuana is seized in school or packaged for sale, it will attract harsh penalties. Hard drugs, or commercial quantities of recreational drugs, are zealously investigated and prosecuted because of their association with organized crime, and because Canada is signatory to a number of UN and other international conventions on the interdiction of drugs and narcotics. As a neighbor to the United States, Canada is required to take an aggressive stand in the “war on drugs”.