The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), includes all minor and major drug charges or offences, including simple possession, trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking and production or cultivation of controlled substances.
Simple possession is the least serious drug offence and can include having a very small amount of a controlled substance. Despite seeming minor, a conviction for possessing a small amount of a controlled substance can still lead to a criminal record and prevent you from entering the United States. The United States takes a very strict approach to the entry of individuals with criminal records for any drug offences. It can be near impossible to travel to the USA if you are found guilty.
Trafficking in drugs can include a number of activities, it is not simply selling drugs on the streets. You can be found guilty of trafficking even if you are not directly involved in the sale of drugs. You may be guilty if you are providing the money, if you are holding drugs for a friend, or if you help someone get drugs.
Possession for the purpose of trafficking means that you possess drugs with the intention of selling them in the future. The police do not actually need to see you sell drugs. Instead, conclusions are drawn based on your behavior, quantity of drugs, and other evidence they find including cellphones, baggies, scales, and money. These cases often involve “experts” that are able to speak to indicia of trafficking.
If you are found guilty of trafficking or possession for the purpose trafficking there is a strong possibility that you will be incarcerated. In 2013 the Canadian government restricted the availability of a conditional sentence order (house arrest) and these are, essentially, no longer available for drug offences of this nature.
There are many ways to fight drug charges, the most common being that the police illegally searched a person, place or vehicle in order to locate drugs. It is also possible that the Crown cannot show who owned or controlled them substance in question. This is a common situation when there are multiple people facing drug charges.
You would be well advised to consult with one of our drug charge lawyers in Edmonton or Grande Prairie if facing a drug-related allegation.