Drug Charges – Drug Offences Lawyer
Maureen Currie is an experienced criminal drug lawyer who defends clients in the Milton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Georgetown, Burlington, Guelph, the Niagara Region and other areas in Ontario against all types of drug charges, including the following:
- Drug possession
- Possession for the purpose of trafficking
- Defending you in a criminal trial
- Drug trafficking
- Drug manufacturing
- Marijuana grow operations
- Proceeds of Crime
A conviction on any drug charge can result in a criminal record which could have a devastating impact on your future. A drug conviction could result in serious jail or penitentiary time; it could end your travel to the United States and other countries, or cost you your job. Drug offences are aggressively prosecuted by experienced Federal Crown Attorneys. There have been recent amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act that establish mandatory minimum penalties – if you plead guilty or are found guilty after trial – in certain drug cases. With so much at stake, it is important that you have strong representation from an effective criminal defence lawyer.
Criminal Lawyer Maureen Currie has been practicing since 1988 and has successfully represented both youths and adults charged with a variety of drug offences.
Maureen Currie has considerable experience defending clients in both small possession cases and large scale trafficking operations. She will conduct a thorough examination into each case and present the strongest possible defence on your behalf. In every case, her primary concern is to protect your rights and your freedom. She conducts a thorough review of all the evidence in the Crown’s case, looking for errors and shortcomings that can be used to your advantage with an effort to see if this case could be withdrawn or addressed without a trial. If this is not possible she analyses the weaknesses in the Crown’s case against you, to advise and help you determine if a trial is in your best interest. Ms. Currie’s experience enables her to develop the strongest possible defence on your behalf and pursue every available option in an effort to avoid a conviction in your case.
Drug Possession Defence
Under the law, a person must have both knowledge of and control over the drugs in order to be found guilty of possession. If someone puts their drugs in your jacket pocket, it can be argued that you had no knowledge of the drugs even though you had physical possession of them at the time the police found them.
We also look carefully at the circumstances under which drugs were discovered. Police must have reasonable and probable grounds for conducting a warrantless search. Even if police had a warrant, the search can be ruled unreasonable if the warrant was not issued properly or the police overstepped the authority provided by the warrant.
Drug Trafficking Defence
A conviction for drug trafficking can result in severe penalties, including a lengthy jail sentence, and will affect your ability to travel abroad – in particular to the USA, obtain certain employment or pursue certain careers. In addition, recent changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act could place you at risk of mandatory minimum penalties if certain aggravating factors exist. These offences are taken very seriously by Crown prosecutors, and having an experienced defence lawyer representing you is critical.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could be charged with drug trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking. Drug trafficking charges are typically laid in cases where the accused has sold or offered to sell a prohibited substance.
Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
These charges do not necessarily require the sale of the drug. A person only needs to be in possession of a large enough quantity of a drug for this charge to be laid. Even a person who has drugs to share with friends can be charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. A person in possession of more than three kilos of a drug will face a separate charge that carries much more serious consequences.
A conviction for trafficking or possession for the purpose of trafficking a Schedule I drug (eg. cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy) will result in a mandatory minimum 1 year in jail if you are linked to a criminal organisation, if there was violence, if there was a weapon involved, or if you were convicted of certain drug offences within the previous 10 years. The mandatory minimum is 2 years if there were (or could have been) children in the area. No matter how unfair that minimum sentence may be in your case, the judge has no choice but to impose it absent some legal technical arguments – which we can evaluate after we obtain the full disclosure of the case against you. Often, the only way to avoid a lengthy jail sentence in such a case is not to be convicted.
Marijuana Grow Operations Defence
Drug production of any kind is a very serious offence in Canada. Unlicensed marijuana grow operations, or grow ops, continue to be a major focus of Crown prosecutors, police and other agencies. Recent changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act allow for mandatory minimum penalties that can escalate depending on the number of plants, possession for the purpose of trafficking and the existence of any aggravating factors. If you have been charged with a crime related to growing marijuana, you should seek the advice of a qualified defence lawyer immediately.
A conviction for production of marijuana will result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence of anywhere from 6 to 36 months, depending on the number of plants and the involvement of certain aggravating factors. If there are more than 500 plants, you are looking at serving 2 years or more in a federal penitentiary. See the Criminal Law Chart in this website for more information. No matter how unfair the minimum sentence is in your case, the judge has no choice but to impose it if you are found guilty. The only way to avoid the minimum sentence in these cases is not to be convicted.
In any case involving marijuana grow operation, the Crown is prepared to dedicate nearly unlimited resources to the prosecution of your case. We will provide the aggressive defence you need to ensure that your rights and your freedom are protected.
An Experienced and Strong Advocate On Your Side
In the right circumstances a prosecutor may be convinced to withdraw the charges, or may be agreeable to address your charge without a criminal record. In some jurisdictions and for some charges, there is a designated Drug Court designed to assist addicts who only find themselves before the criminal courts because of their addiction issues.
If you have been arrested for any drug offences, help is available. Maureen Currie provides an experienced and an effective defence in drug possession and trafficking cases. Our aim is to present the strongest possible defence on your behalf in an effort to avoid a conviction and keep your record clean. She works closely with you to gain a complete understanding of the events leading up to your arrest. Sometimes, the searches that led to the discovery of the drug are illegal and vulnerable to challenge in a court of law. If you were the victim of an illegal or unreasonable search, we will take steps to have any resulting evidence excluded at trial.