Drug Offences

Classification of drugs

As outlines by the Misuse of Drugs ACT 1971 Controlled drugs are classified as Class A – heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, Ecstasy and licensed drugs like Temazepam Class B – cannabis, ketamine, methadone and amphetamines Class C – Diazepam The act also makes provision for temporary classification

What can I be charged with?

 

The act creates various offences which relate to the controlled drugs

– Importation of a controlled drug
• Possession of a controlled drug
• Allowing premises to be used for consumption of controlled drugs.
• Possession with intent to supply
• Supplying a controlled drug
Charges may also include supplying a minor with a controlled drug and possibly manslaughter if the supplying of the drug results in the death of a person.

Penalties

The penalty for drug offences carries depending on many factors such as the classification of the drug if you have a prior criminal history
Class A drugs can carry up to 7 years in prison
Class B can carry up to 5 years in prison
Class C can carry up to 2 years in prison
All of the above can carry unlimited fines.
The severity of drug offences can increase if there’s an intent to supply Class A punishable with a life sentence and Class B and C punishable with up to 14 years in prison, all alongside unlimited fines.

What is possession

Possession of drugs is where you are in ‘custody and control’ of the drugs. You must also have knowledge of the substance in order for it to be classified as in your ‘possession’, regardless of the amount.

Can I be charged with supply?

If you were caught with the controlled drugs you can be charged possession, if even the drugs weren’t yours. The penalty can vary depending on the quantity of drugs and other factors
Evidence of intent to supply needs to be established which can be done by assessing the quantity of classified drugs found, presence of cash and text messages.

What is possession with intent to supply?

If a person is found with a controlled substance in their possession it can be deemed that it was for the purpose of distributing it to others and not just for person use. There isn’t necessarily a set quantity that would qualify as intent to supply but intent can be shown otherwise, for examples small bundles of drugs.

What is conspiracy?

This is usually when there is more than one person suspected of the drug offenses. It refers to agreeing to do something which can be a range from street dealing, storing of drugs to organising a supply network and conspiracy to import drugs

Trial

You can choose to be tried at the Crown Crowns by a Jury or at the Magistrates’ Court. A solicitor can advise you on the best course of action to aid in your defence.
However, a jurisdiction may be declined if the offence is deemed too serious and will instead be tried at the Crown Courts.

Different offences carry different penalties.
From fines to prison sentences including life imprisonment depending on the charges.

Consequences

If you are found in possession of classified drugs, the police can arrest you and interview you under caution.

The drugs will be seized and analysed to identify their classification.

During this process, you may be released as it can take weeks for the laboratory
to do their tests.
Then the police will decide alongside the Crown Prosecution Service, whether to charge you with an offence

If you are caught with a small amount, you may be offered a caution, however, it is important to note that for this you will need to admit to the offence. A caution still forms a part of your criminal record and used in evidence of bad character for a different crime you are being prosecuted for.
This can have extended ramification such as with employment as some employers require a DBS. It is highly important you have a solicitor with you to advise you.

Being charged with possession or supply doesn’t mean you will be guilty of those charges.

If you are facing drug charges, even if it seems small, it is vital to have the best legal advice and a strong defence. Mi solicitors specialise in drug offenses and can provide expert legal advice tailored to you.

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