Various drug possession laws in Canada are part of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. These drug possession laws are linked with serious sentencing, as well as life-changing consequences for those convicted of this crime. Drug laws are quite strict in Toronto, and you will need a drug trafficking defence lawyer on your side if you have been accused of this kind of crime.
Securing the right drug trafficking lawyer to work on your case is critical if you believe that you are innocent, or if you are seeking a reduced sentence. No matter what form of drug trafficking offence you have been accused of, you will need to work with a drug trafficking lawyer in Toronto if you want the chance to seek a reduced sentence and a successful outcome for your case.
Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Toronto
The drug offence known as a possession for the purpose of trafficking is actually considered a hybrid offence. This means that this offence can be processed as a summary offence or an indictable offence. Summary offence cases are usually less serious, and they might be presented to a Provincial Court Judge rather than the Crown.
When you have been accused of a drug trafficking offence that is indictable, your case will result in more severe punishment and will need to be tried by the Crown. The level of sentencing that you will face is linked to the number of prior offences that you have on your record, as well as the schedule that the drug belongs to.
Proving Intent to Traffic
In order to be accused of this crime, the Crown must be able to prove that:
- The accused was in possession of a CDSA classified controlled substance
- The accused was aware that they were in possession of this controlled substance
- The accused was aware that the drug was classified under CDSA
- The accused had the intent to traffic the drug that they had in their possession
Possession with the intent of trafficking applies in any situation where a drug was in possession of the accused with the intention to give, transport, send, or deliver the substance. There are substances that are not classified as drugs that fall under this heading as well. These substances will lead to the same sentencing as items that are included in the CDSA schedule on the drug category.
The primary defence you will have in a case that involves drug trafficking is a lack of intent to traffic. Drug lawyers with skill and experience in this area of law will work hard to prove that you did not have the intent to traffic the substance that you were in possession of. Possession and use are offered very different sentencing than the sentencing that is applied to cases that show clear intent to traffic.
Intent to traffic is often based on informant testimony, as well as the behaviour of the accused with regard to the distribution of drugs they had in their possession. Text messages, emails, and other records of contact might be used to help prove intent. Drug case lawyers will make sure that your intentions are clearly shown and do not point at intent to traffic. In cases where the accused was clearly trafficking and there are many forms of evidence to prove this, a lawyer for drug cases will have to be satisfied with seeking a reduced sentence.
The Penalty for Possession with Intent to Traffic in Canada
Intent to traffic is a very serious offence in Canada. Your overall criminal record will impact your sentencing, and the trial location will also impact the outcome of the case. If your case can be heard by a Toronto judge, your sentence will be lighter than in cases that are brought before the Crown. There are some set guidelines that must be followed in all of these cases, particularly in situations where this is not the accused’s first offence.
Those convicted of trafficking or possessing Schedule I or Schedule II substances can be sentenced to imprisonment for life. For cases involving Schedule III drugs, the indictable offence is imprisonment that does not exceed 10 years. If the Crown proceeds with summary conviction, you might be sentenced to prison for as little as 18 months. Schedule IV substance possession and trafficking can lead to an indictable offence with a prison sentence of as much as 3 years.
In all of these cases, aggravating factors can be a factor in the judgement handed down for a case. If a weapon was used during the crime, or the accused used violence at the time of the offence, the sentence can be more severe. If trafficking was done at a school or near a public place that is frequented by those who are 18 years of age or younger, the severity of the sentence will increase as well. Those previously convicted of an offence under CDSA will also be handed more severe sentencing in subsequent violations.
Work with a Skilled Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Toronto
If you have been accused of possession for the purposes of trafficking, you might be facing severe penalties that you would rather avoid. You will find that there are many reasons that you could face severe sentencing without skilled attention being given to your case: this is why you need to secure an experienced drug trafficking lawyer to defend you.
At Vilkhov Law, we know how to help people who have been accused of possession with the intent to traffic. Seeking a fair sentence or exonerating those who have been falsely accused of this crime is a matter of pride for us. We will work hard for Toronto clients who have been accused of drug trafficking offences in Toronto.
If you have been accused of possession for the purposes of trafficking, contact us today to set up a consultation. Our highly skilled team will work hard on your drug trafficking case to secure you a favourable outcome.