Drug Charge Lawyers in B.C.

Drugs charges in British Columbia

Drugs charges in British Columbia can include anything from simple possession, possession for the purpose of trafficking, production, importing, and many more. These are typically federal offences that attract severe consequences, such as incarceration. It’s important that you have a criminal lawyer that has experience in arguing these types of cases in order to best advise and represent you.

General Drug Offences

The Canadian law has a list of charges for drugs and controlled substances:

  • Simple possession: When you possess a controlled substance for personal use and do not intend to traffic it.
  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking: When an individual possesses a controlled substance for the sole intent of trafficking it.
  • Production: When you are involved in any part of the production of an illicit drug.
  • Importation: When you import a drug from abroad. The type of drug dictates the penalty.

Sicotte and Sandhu have resolved drug cases that did not result in a criminal record. Instead, we have gained lesser repercussions for our clients, such as doing community service. You can expect our experienced lawyers to fight hard on your behalf to get the drug offences dropped.

The Cannabis Act

Marijuana was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Act was established to regulate its use. The legal age for possessing or sharing up to 30 grams of cannabis varies between the provinces and territories. In British Columbia, individuals of 19 years and up are permitted to have a limit of 30 grams at any given time. Many individuals forget that there is a limit of how much marijuana you can possess, remembering only that it is now legal. It’s essential to thoroughly read the Cannabis Act to prevent oneself from being charged.

Additionally, growing marijuana has restrictions. Each individual per household is allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants from licensed seedlings. The laws are worded with precision and can be confusing, so always consult a lawyer to ensure you are within your rights.

While marijuana is legal across Canada, you will be restricted from entering the United States if you declare prior consumption of cannabis or current possession since it is not legal in that country. Declaration of consumption or possession carries a penalty of up to 14 years in jail. If you have a criminal record, you will need to request a U.S. Waiver ahead of time in order to enter the country.

Some cannabis drug cases we’ve handled involved:

  • Possession over the limit: The penalty can be a ticket if the marijuana amount is small. In larger cases, the penalty is up to five years minus a day in jail.
  • Illegal distribution or sale: If small amounts of marijuana are involved, then the individual will be ticketed. When the amount is large, the individual will be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail.
  • Personal cannabis cultivation exceeding the limit or performed with combustible solvents: Like the previous two offences, this charge entails a ticket for small amounts and up to 14 years in jail for large quantities.
  • Giving or selling cannabis to an individual under the age of 19 (according to British Columbia’s legal age): No matter what the amount of marijuana involved is, the penalty is up to 14 years in jail.
  • Using an individual under the age of 19 to commit a cannabis-related offence: The penalty is a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.

Consequences

Having a criminal record because of drug charges will affect different aspects of your life. If you want to travel to the United States for work or family trips, you may have to jump through several hoops before being granted access, which is a best-case scenario.

According to Part 1 of the Offences and Punishment section of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, “Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.” The types of drugs included in Schedule I, II, and III are extensive, including commonly known substances like opium and substances less known in the mainstream. It is the job of your criminal defence lawyer to demonstrate reasonable doubt in your case since witness testimonies and even documents with your name are not always reliable sources.

At Sicotte & Sandhu, we understand that a drug charge may cause familial alienation, particularly if you have past drug-related offences. We want to assure you that you are not alone, and with our legal assistance, we will defend your rights for a favourable outcome.

Seek Legal Representation

Both Erik Albrecher and Janeen Sandhu previously worked as agents for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada prosecuting Federal Offences, specializing in drug prosecutions and have considerable knowledge and expertise in this area of the law.  If you have been charged with a drug offence, contact us to set up an initial consultation today.

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