DRUG-RELATED OFFENCES

High quality criminal defense

As you can see from the Criminal Code of Canada excerpts below, the Crown takes drug-related offences from possession to intent to sell to trafficking very seriously. It doesn’t matter whether the charge is possession of marijuana or trafficking harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine. The consequences will be far-reaching and could cloud the rest of your life.

  • Importation of over 50 kg of cocaine
  • Importation of large quantities of marijuana
  • Growing operations
  • Ecstasy and methamphetamine production
  • Possession with intent to traffic cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, oxycontin, heroin, crystal meth or ketamine
  • Drug trafficking
  • Simple possession

Conviction of any of the above could result in fines, incarceration and significant restrictions on your travel into the United States.
Scared, overwhelmed, have a dark cloud hanging over your head? We can help.

Often, we can handle your case to the end of having your charges reduced or dismissed without your having to appear in court. In the Saggi Law Firm’s combined 35 years of experience as trial lawyers, Mandeep S. Saggi and his team of attorneys have often maneuvered successfully for trafficking charges to be reduced to simple possession pleas with community service or counseling sentences. We’ve also successfully defended against many attempts to seize property or assets from defendants under Canada’s definition of “proceeds of crime.”
If you’ve been charged, review the excerpts from Canada’s drug and controlled substance laws below to be informed of your rights. Then call Mandeep S. Saggi to set up a no-cost consultation before moving forward.

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
The relevant provisions of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are set out below:
Section 4 deals with “simple possession”;
Section 5 deals with “possession for the purpose of trafficking” and trafficking;

Trafficking is defined as

1. to sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send or deliver the substance,
2. to sell an authorization to obtain the substance, or
3. to offer to do anything mentioned in (a) or (b).

Section 6 deals with “possession for exporting” and “importing or exporting”;
Section 7 deals with “production”;
Section 10 sets out aggravating factors that a court must take into consideration on sentencing.
Section 4

Possession of substance

4. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II or III.
Obtaining substance

(2) No person shall seek or obtain
(a) a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or
(b) an authorization to obtain a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV

from a practitioner, unless the person discloses to the practitioner particulars relating to the acquisition by the person of every substance in those Schedules, and of every authorization to obtain such substances, from any other practitioner within the preceding thirty days.

Punishment

(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

(5) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that does not exceed the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VIII is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both.

(6) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

(7) Every person who contravenes subsection (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(i) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I,
(ii) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years less a day, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II,
(iii) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III, or
(iv) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months, where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable

(i) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both, and
(ii) for a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.

Determination of amount

(8) For the purposes of subsection (5) and Schedule VIII, the amount of the substance means the entire amount of any mixture or substance, or the whole of any plant, that contains a detectable amount of the substance.

Section 5

Trafficking in substance

5. (1) No person shall traffic in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.

Possession for purpose of trafficking

(2) No person shall, for the purpose of trafficking, possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV.

Punishment

(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)
(a) subject to paragraph (a.1), if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I or II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life, and

(i) to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year if
(A) the person committed the offence for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization, as defined in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code,
(B) the person used or threatened to use violence in committing the offence,
(C) the person carried, used or threatened to use a weapon in committing the offence, or

(D) the person was convicted of a designated substance offence, or had served a term of imprisonment for a designated substance offence, within the previous 10 years, or
(ii) to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years if
(A) the person committed the offence in or near a school, on or near school grounds or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of 18 years,
(B) the person committed the offence in a prison, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, or on its grounds, or
(C) the person used the services of a person under the age of 18 years, or involved such a person, in committing the offence;

(a.1) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II in an amount that is not more than the amount set out for that substance in Schedule VII, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years less a day;
(b) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and

(c) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

(5) For the purposes of applying subsection (3) in respect of an offence under subsection (1), a reference to a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV includes a reference to any substance represented or held out to be a substance included in that Schedule.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(a.1) and Schedule VII, the amount of the substance means the entire amount of any mixture or substance, or the whole of any plant, that contains a detectable amount of the substance.
Section 6

Importing and exporting

6. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall import into Canada or export from Canada a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI.

Possession for the purpose of exporting

(2) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV, V or VI for the purpose of exporting it from Canada.

Punishment

(3) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2)
(a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I in an amount that is not more than one kilogram, or in Schedule II, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life, and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year if

(i) the offence is committed for the purposes of trafficking,
(ii) the person, while committing the offence, abused a position of trust or authority, or
(iii) the person had access to an area that is restricted to authorized persons and used that access to commit the offence;
(a.1) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I in an amount that is more than one kilogram, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years;

(b) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III or VI,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and

(c) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV or V,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Section 7

Production of substance

7. (1) Except as authorized under the regulations, no person shall produce a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV.

Punishment

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1)
(a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of three years if any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply and for a term of two years in any other case;
(a.1) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule II, other than cannabis (marijuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life, and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment
(i) for a term of one year if the production is for the purpose of trafficking, or
(ii) for a term of 18 months if the production is for the purpose of trafficking and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply;
(b) if the subject matter of the offence is cannabis (marijuana), is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years, and to a minimum punishment of
(i) imprisonment for a term of six months if the number of plants produced is less than 201 and more than five, and the production is for the purpose of trafficking,
(ii) imprisonment for a term of nine months if the number of plants produced is less than 201 and more than five, the production is for the purpose of trafficking and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply,
(iii) imprisonment for a term of one year if the number of plants produced is more than 200 and less than 501,
(iv) imprisonment for a term of 18 months if the number of plants produced is more than 200 and less than 501 and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply,
(v) imprisonment for a term of two years if the number of plants produced is more than 500, or
(vi) imprisonment for a term of three years if the number of plants produced is more than 500 and any of the factors set out in subsection (3) apply;
(c) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule III,
(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months; and
(d) where the subject-matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,
(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or
(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

Section 10

Sentencing

Purpose of sentencing

10. (1) Without restricting the generality of the Criminal Code, the fundamental purpose of any sentence for an offence under this Part is to contribute to the respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society while encouraging rehabilitation, and treatment in appropriate circumstances, of offenders and acknowledging the harm done to victims and to the community.

Factors to take into consideration

(2) If a person is convicted of a designated substance offence, the court imposing sentence on the person shall consider any relevant aggravating factors including that the person
(a) in relation to the commission of the offence,
(i) carried, used or threatened to use a weapon,
(ii) used or threatened to use violence,
(iii) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, in or near a school, on or near school grounds or in or near any other public place usually frequented by persons under the age of eighteen years, or
(iv) trafficked in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or possessed such a substance for the purpose of trafficking, to a person under the age of eighteen years;
(b) was previously convicted of a designated substance offence; or
(c) used the services of a person under the age of eighteen years to commit, or involved such a person in the commission of, a designated substance offence.

Reasons

(3) If, under subsection (1), the court is satisfied of the existence of one or more of the aggravating factors enumerated in paragraphs (2)(a) to (c), but decides not to sentence the person to imprisonment, the court shall give reasons for that decision.

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