Are you facing charges for a drug offence? You probably feel anxious about your future and overwhelmed by the legal procedures. Drug offences in Canada are outlined by the Controlled Drug and Substance Act and are prosecuted by the Federal Crown. The Act describes and categorizes illegal drugs and associated offences, with some carrying higher penalties than others. For example, possession carries a lighter penalty than trafficking or manufacturing, and hallucinogens like LSD are considered less serious than opioids like heroin.
If you have been charged with a drug offence, you should consult and hire a drug defence lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can advise you on your legal rights, navigate the court system, and negotiate on your behalf. You should take several immediate steps if you are charged with a drug crime:
Talk to a Drug Defence Lawyer
Drug offences carry jail sentences, fines and can seriously impact your future. If you have been charged with such an offence, a high-quality and experienced defence lawyer will guide you through the court system and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Remember, you still have legal rights if you have been arrested or charged. Among those rights are the right to know the charge laid against you, the right to remain silent, the right to a fair trial and the right to talk to a lawyer.
It is in your best interest not to talk to anyone – including the police – about your case until you’ve spoken with a lawyer. Once you’ve retained a lawyer, you must provide clear and accurate information about your situation so they can guide you through your charges.
Learn the Details of Your Charges
Once you’ve been charged with a drug offence, it is crucial that you and your lawyer are aware of the charge, the date and location of your court appearance, and your bail conditions. Your defence lawyer will ask the Crown to provide information about the charges, including evidence against you and investigation procedures.
An experienced lawyer is knowledgeable not only about drug offences but also about police procedures. They can protect your rights throughout the investigation and legal process.
Make a Court Appearance
Your initial court appearance is not your trial. Instead, it is where you can announce the plea decision you’ve made or ask for more time to prepare for court. Prior to your first court appearance, you and your lawyer will discuss your plea options.
If you plead not guilty, your case will go to trial, and your lawyer will work to build a case in your support. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, your lawyer can negotiate your sentencing, which may include a fine, probation, jail time or loss of licences. An experienced defence lawyer understands the complexities of drug offence procedures and will advise you on the possible outcomes of each scenario.
Do You Need a Drug Defence Lawyer in Vancouver?
Drug offence charges and convictions can seriously impact your future. Fines, imprisonment and job loss are all possible outcomes of a conviction. If you have been charged with a drug offence, you need the best possible drug defence lawyer in Vancouver.
At Johnson Doyle Nelson Anderson, our team of experienced criminal lawyers will provide you with the best representation and defence. Contact us at 604-688-8338 to schedule an in-person or over-the-phone consultation.