Drug Possession in Edmonton.
The criminality of a person caught possessing drugs depends on the drugs involved, the circumstances of the possession and the life situation of the particular offender. But if the drugs are illegal drugs, you will need a lawyer.
The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act has 4 main Schedules as follows:
- Schedule I – Sometimes considered to be the most dangerous drugs, such as heroin and cocaine;
- Schedule II – Contains cannabis and its derivatives including:
- Schedule III – Includes some more drugs generally considered to be dangerous drugs, including some 22 Amphetamines, Mescaline, LSD and some 30 or so others;
- Schedule 4 – Includes some drugs which might be dangerous, but also have some redeeming therapeutic value to them, including some 28 barbiturates as well as the benzodiazepines and their salts and derivatives. Anabolic steroids and their derivatives are also included in Schedule 4;
“Possession” of any of the drugs listed in Schedules I, II or III is prohibited, unless the person is “authorized” to be in possession by the regulations. This is as per section 4 of the Act.
Various “possession” offences incorporate the definition of “possession” as se out in section 4(3) of the Criminal Code, which reads as follows:
4(3) For the purposes of this Act,
(a) a person has anything in possession when he has it in his personal possession or knowingly
(i) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or
(ii) has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to or is occupied by him, for the use or benefit of himself or of another person; and
(b) where one of two or more persons, with the knowledge and consent of the rest, has anything in his custody or possession, it shall be deemed to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them.
“Double Doctoring” provisions are also included.
Of note is that there is a special penalty provision for those found to be in possession of smaller amounts of cannabis. These amounts are set out in Schedules VII.
Some of the more common possession charges:
- Possession of marihuana
- Possession of cocaine
- Possession of crystal methamphetamine
- Possession of prescription drugs
- Possession of crack cocaine
The Drugs Involved
Simply possessing the drugs on the Schedules is a crime. This is a given regardless of the circumstances, quantity or any other factors. However, there are many factors taken into account determine how severe or lenient the final sentence should be. The most important factor in this regard can be the type and quantity the drugs impounded.
The Circumstances of The Possession
The circumstances of the possession can be a factor in determining the severity of a sentence. If the purpose was for trafficking, that is an aggravating factor and likely a separate charge. If the purpose was a small amount of personal use, and the person is a drug addict, and they have cleaned up their addiction since the time of arrest, then these may be somewhat mitigating factors that would speak in favor of a lighter sentence.
If the possession was at a border crossing or near a school or with some young people, then a person is likely to find those to be an aggravating factors.
The Individual Person Involved
There are numerous factors that go into the sentencing of a person found guilty or who has plead guilty to a crime. Public deterrence, personal deterrence, rehabilitation and the protection of the public are but a few. The circumstances of the particular individual can often influence what type of sentence, and how long of a sentence or how big of a fine, might be appropriate. A wealthy person or a drug dealer are likely to attract a larger fine than a handicapped person on social assistance. A senior citizen caught with drugs that they were using for pain medicine might be treated less harshly than a younger person with gang affiliations. It is through individual sentencing that the courts at least try and achieve certain societal goals and possibly to help the accused via rehabilitation as well. Certain crimes might make one eligible for the Drug Treatment Court.
No matter what the drug crime, a conviction for a drug offense can come back to hurt you. Try to keep your record free of drug convictions. Geoff Green has over 20 years of experience at defending drug cases. He can help you.
Geoff Green – Criminal Defence Lawyer For Alberta – Drug Possession.
Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Stony Plain, Athabasca, Barrhead, Boyle, Camrose, Edson, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Cache, Hinton, Jasper, Lac La Biche, Leduc, Lloydminster, Mayerthorpe, Morinville, Onoway, Red Deer, Slave Lake, Valleyview, Vegreville, Westlock, Wetaskiwin, Whitecourt.