Section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act sets out the offence of drug possession. Toronto drug possession lawyer Michael Juskey can help you achieve the best possible result in your case. Possession in law (whether it’s drugs, stolen property or an illegal firearm) requires that the crown attorney prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person had knowledge and control of the prohibited item(s). The accused person must have knowledge of the nature of the illicit item as well as its location. The accused must also have exercised a certain level of control or ownership over the item(s) in question. Possession can be actual, constructive, joint or innocent (innocent possession is a criminal defence).
Whether it’s weed, cocaine, MDMA or heroin, our law firm will fight to protect your rights and act as your guide throughout the criminal justice system. The Law Office of Michael P. Juskey has extensive experience defending drug possession charges. Our job is to avoid jail and a criminal record. If you are a first offender the primary objective in these cases is to do whatever it takes to secure a withdrawal of the charge(s). Call our office now for a free consultation with a Toronto drug possession lawyer.
Sentences for drug possession depend on the type of substance as well as the quantity. Illicit drugs are categorized into different schedules within the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (“CDSA”). Schedule I substances are typically regarded as the most serious and include drugs such as: cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and opiates. Schedule II includes cannabis and its many derivates. See below for a detailed description of the maximum penalties for drug possession in Canada.
Schedule I of the CDSA includes hard drugs such as: cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamines, opium, morphine and fentanyl. Possession of a Schedule I drug is a hybrid offence which gives the crown attorney the option of proceeding summarily or by indictment. This decision is typically governed by the nature and quantity of the substance as well as the criminal record of the accused. If the crown proceeds by indictment the maximum penalty is seven years in a penitentiary. If the crown proceeds summarily, a first offence carries a maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail. For a subsequent offence the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine and/or one year in jail.
Schedule II of the CDSA lists the following drugs: cannabis (including leaves, resin, oils, edibles) and hash. Possession of a Schedule II drug is also a hybrid offence. If the crown elects to proceed by way of indictment the maximum sentence is five years in a penitentiary. If the crown proceeds summarily the maximum sentence for a first offence is a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail. For a subsequent schedule II drug possession offence the maximum penalty is a $2,000 fine and/or one year in jail. Section 4(5) of the CDSA indicates that possession of under 1 gram of cannabis resin or under 30 grams of cannabis results in a maximum sentence of a $1,000 fine and/or six months incarceration.
Substances contained within Schedule III are considered less serious and have less potential for abuse than those found in Schedules I and II. Schedule III of the CDSA includes the following illegal drugs: Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine, Suboxone, anabolic steroids and ketamine.
Possession of a Schedule III drug is also a hybrid offence. If the crown elects to proceed by indictment the maximum sentence is three years in a penitentiary. If the crown attorney proceeds by way of summary conviction, the maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail for a first offence. For a subsequent offence the maximum sentence is a $2,000 fine and/or one year in jail.
R v Q.T.
Client was charged with Possession of Marijuana; Possession for the Purpose Marihuana (over 30 grams); Produce Marihuana; Possession of Cocaine; Possession for the Purpose Cocaine; Possession of Heroin and Poession for the Purpose Heroin following the execution of a search warrant. After successful resolution discussions all charges were stayed at the request of the crown. No criminal record.
R v R.H.
Possession of methamphetamine/cannabis and failure to comply with probation (x2) charges were withdrawn at the request of the Federal crown attorney. No jail. No criminal record.
R v T.S.
T.S. was charged with possession of MDMA at a Toronto electronic dance music festival. After retaining the firm, the charge was withdrawn on the client’s first court appearance. No criminal record.
R v G.A.
Client’s charge of marijuana possession (3 ounces) was withdrawn in the New market courthouse. No criminal record.