The media and Hollywood frequently portray drug trafficking in a way that makes people think of large, complicated drug cartels that deal with massive amounts of illegal substances. The reality is usually much different.
Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), trafficking is defined as the delivery of a drug from one person to another. To sell, administer, give, transfer, send, or deliver a controlled substance – all of these activities can be prosecuted as drug trafficking. An individual can also be convicted of drug trafficking even if he or she made no monetary profit from the transaction.
People have also been convicted of trafficking for arranging a transaction between a buyer and seller, giving drugs to a friend to keep safe on their behalf, and selling a substance as a drug even though it was not.
Serious Penalties for Drug Trafficking
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, it’s important to understand the seriousness of the charges against you. Unlike the majority of criminal offences, which are prosecuted by the local Crown Attorney office, drug crimes are handled by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. These prosecutors tend to have more experience handling drug offences.
Furthermore, judges generally have broad discretion when it comes to imposing sentences for drug-related crimes. In many cases, the CDSA imposes strict minimum sentences on individuals convicted of trafficking certain types and amounts of drugs.
For example, trafficking schedule I or schedule II drugs carries a minimum sentence of one year in cases where a person has a prior conviction, used a weapon during commission of the crime, or was involved in a criminal organization at the time of the offence.
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, your entire future is at stake. A conviction will result in a permanent criminal record that can stop you from buying a home, getting a job, or furthering your career. Call today to speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer about your case.
Ottawa, Ontario Criminal Defence
Criminal defence lawyers Bruce Engel and Elena Davies have represented individuals and businesses charged with hundreds of different offences throughout Canada for more than two decades. From the start of a criminal investigation to the close of a trial, we will take a balanced and forceful approach to your defence. We have the experience and know-how to effectively navigate the constantly changing justice system in Canada.