Drug Charge Lawyers

Legal Services | Drug Possession

Edmonton Drug Defence Lawyers

Have you been charged with a drug offence?

Drug prosecutions are serious. Convictions for drug possession, drug trafficking and drug crimes can send you to jail.

The government has significant resources to investigate and prosecute drug cases. You need a qualified and experienced drug lawyer who can represent, protect and defend you if you are accused of possession or trafficking in narcotics.

Federal drug prosecutors will prosecute possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking in a controlled substance.

Davidson Gregory Tralenberg is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal law firm based in Edmonton who will vigorously defend your drug case. They have represented many clients in the Edmonton area and other parts of Western Canada.

If you’ve been charged with a drug related crime, our team of defence lawyers can help.

Drug Possession Offences

A drug possession conviction can carry major consequences. Criminal law can be complex and difficult to navigate, and an experienced drug possession defence lawyer can help you make informed decisions about how to best move forward with your case.

Drug possession charges result in circumstances where the accused has the drug on their person, they have it stored elsewhere, or have knowingly asked another person to safeguard the drug. Knowledge and control of consent are key, as seen in the three possession types outlined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Criminal Code of Canada and summarized below:

  1. Personal/actual possession, which requires the accused have knowledge that the substance is a drug and physical custody of it;
  2. Constructive possession of a controlled substance, which requires the accused have knowledge of the drug, control over its location, and intent/consent to possess the item; and
  3. Joint possession (involving multiple individuals), which requires knowledge of the drug, some control over its location, and consent to possess the item.

An example where the accused passenger of a vehicle could be deemed not to have knowledge, control and intention to possess is a situation where drug packets are found by an officer inside the glove compartment of the car or hidden in the trunk or the back of the vehicle. The accused passenger traveling within the car may be found not guilty of possession as there may be a doubt about whether he/she had knowledge of, or control over, the vehicle and the controlled substance.

Drug Trafficking Offences

If you’re facing a drug manufacturing charge, it’s important that you contact a criminal lawyer experienced in drug trafficking as soon as possible. Working with a drug defence lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Trafficking relates to the intention or purpose of physically making the drug available to others, regardless of ownership. Possession typically occurs at the same time as trafficking, but possession is not a prerequisite for a trafficking charge to be laid. Trafficking an illegal drug requires that you have the intention or offer to transfer, deliver, give, administer, or sell the narcotic.

You do not have to receive money in order to be charged with trafficking. For example, an undercover officer witnesses a person at a party handing out LSD, which the accused takes and offers half to his friend. It makes no difference that the accused never asked for the drug, that others were taking LSD, that the accused wasn’t sure what the drug was, or that half was passed to a friend. Knowledge of the nature of the substance is not required, nor is the intention to sell, in order to be charged.

The Courts have characterized different levels of trafficking: social trafficking (sharing with friends and not typically associated with making a profit), street level trafficking (often smaller amounts of narcotics), and wholesale commercial trafficking. Wholesale commercial trafficking relates to more sophisticated, higher-level operations, often associated with large narcotic seizures or sales.

The most common trafficking charge is a sale of narcotics to an undercover police officer. This usually involves a major police investigation when undercover police officers pose as drug purchasers.

Choose Davidson Gregory Tralenberg to Defend Your Drugs Case in Edmonton and Western Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Drug Offence Cases

What are the penalties for fraud?

The Penalties for fraud vary depending on the circumstances.  A minor credit card fraud may attract a fine where a major that could include real estate fraud, financial fraud or theft from an employer may result in a sentence of several years in a federal penitentiary.

What if I pay back the money after committing fraud, can I go to jail?

If you make restitution of stolen money or funds this is an important and mitigating factor in sentencing.  However, every case is different. For example, stealing from an employer is an aggravating factor.  Paying restitution for stolen money is a very important sentencing factor but it may not be sufficient factor to prevent jail in a large and aggravating fraud.

Is it theft If I steal from someone who doesn’t own the property?

Yes, if that person is responsible for the property on behalf of an owner, you can be convicted of theft if you took the item for that person. Also, if that person is not responsible for the property, but knows that it is not yours, they may take steps to protect the property.  If you steal the item, you can be convicted of theft.

What are the penalties for theft?

The penalties for theft can range from participating in alternative measures and having the charge withdrawn, receiving a discharge after pleading guilty (a finding of guilty, but no criminal record is imposed), a suspended sentence (a criminal record with probation only), a fine (criminal record), a short sharp term of imprisonment, or lengthy terms of imprisonment if the theft is on a large scale.

Can I be jailed for self checkout theft?

Usually, the most serious penalty for shoplifting is the imposition of a fine and a criminal record.  It would only be in the most extreme case where you would have a lengthy criminal record for the same offence.

What if it's my first offense?

If you are facing your first offence for shoplifting, you most likely will not receive a criminal record.  You would be eligible for alternative measures or would be eligible to apply for a discharge which would mean that you would not receive a criminal record.