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Drug Trafficking Defence Lawyers in Ottawa

Ottawa Drug Trafficking Criminal Lawyers

If you’re charged with drug trafficking in Ottawa, the severity of the potential penalties makes it imperative to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Drug trafficking has a much broader meaning than most people suspect. It’s not just about being caught at the airport with a large quantity of drugs or importing or exporting drugs to or from Canada.

A drug trafficking charge can be laid against you for any activity where drugs allegedly exchange hands.

If you’re charged with trafficking, you can safely assume that the police have gathered a large body of evidence against you.

You may be able to escape the penalties if you can prepare a powerful defence with your lawyer.

We’ll help you:

  • Understand your charge(s) and reduce the doubts and stress
  • Analyze all the evidence against you for any weaknesses
  • Build a powerful defence
  • Push for case dismissal or acquittal at trial

This is your best opportunity of avoiding not only a lengthy prison sentence but the other devastating consequences of having a lifelong criminal record.

Powerful Defence for Drug Trafficking Offences in Ottawa

What are the main drug classifications in Canada?

Drug classifications in Canada are defined by the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act(CDSA).

Substances are organized into “schedules”: groups of drugs classified according to their chemical properties and effects on the user. 

The schedules are very detailed. 

Following are some of the most common substances involved in drug trafficking cases:

  • Schedule I: Cocaine, heroin, codeine, morphine, opium, GHB (“date rape” drug), 
  • Schedule II: Cannabis, including cannabis resin and marijuana
  • Schedule III: LSD, magic mushrooms
  • Schedule IV: Barbiturates (clonazepam, diazepam, Amytal, Nembutal, etc,)
  • Schedule V: Propylhexedrine and any salt derived from it
  • Schedule VI: Substances used in the manufacture of other drugs, such as ephedrine, lysergic acid, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine, etc.

Understanding a charge for drug trafficking

The first thing to note with a charge for drug trafficking is that the monetary aspect has no bearing on the charge. The prosecution does not need to show that you made a profit from the exchange of drugs. They do not even need to prove that the substance in question was a drug. 

If you present the substance as a drug and are caught doing any of the following, you can be charged:

  • Selling
  • Transporting
  • Administering
  • Transferring
  • Giving (even for free)
  • Sending
  • Delivering

The police generally do not lay drug trafficking charges without substantial evidence against a suspect. This is especially the case in large-scale operations. However, they are still held to a high standard when trying to secure a conviction.

It is very important to be in a position to go through the evidence against you in fine detail with your lawyer. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, there may be gaps in the evidence. You have charter rights that must be defended by a skilled lawyer and you are always innocent until proven guilty.

What are the penalties for drug trafficking?

As you might expect, penalties in drug trafficking cases are harsh: up to life imprisonment in the most extreme cases.

Firstly, the prospect of bail is unlikely.

Then, a drug trafficking conviction will generally mean:

  • Up to life imprisonment for trafficking Schedule I or II substances (cocaine, heroin, cannabis, etc.)
  • Up to 10 years in jail for trafficking Schedule III or IV drugs (LSD, magic mushrooms, barbiturates, etc.)
  • Up to three years in jail for trafficking schedule V substances (Propylhexedrine and its salts)

If you possess drugs for the purpose of trafficking (over a certain amount) you will also face a mandatory prison term.

Apart from serving jail time, you will have a permanent criminal record, which will restrict your freedom of travel outside Canada and may hamper future employment prospects. 

Drug Trafficking: How we will defend you

Our lawyers have successfully defended many people charged with drug trafficking in Ottawa.

They are used to analyzing the evidence for potential flaws and preparing a defence based upon:

  • Charter rights arguments that can exclude evidence
  • The methods used to search you or your premises
  • Surveillance techniques used by law enforcement officers
  • The possibility of entrapment being used against you
  • Actions taken against you in custody
  • The reliability of informants who tipped off police

It is impossible for anyone without the experience of working on drug trafficking cases to know where to look and to fully comprehend the due processes.

We can often demonstrate that the authorities have not met their obligations or followed the correct processes to safeguard your constitutional rights. 

We may also be able to advance alternative explanations for the events in your case.

This is your best chance of the case being dismissed or acquittal in a trial, avoiding the lifelong consequences of a conviction.

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