Have you or someone you know been charged or arrested for a drug offence? Dale Melville is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer in Surrey BC who will fight for you in and out of court.
There are two things that you must know about drug charges. Firstly, for the best outcome you cannot defend yourself. You need to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer with a successful history of defending drug cases. Secondly, the police and Crown counsel are not on your side. If you have already spoken to the police, you should contact a Surrey criminal lawyer before speaking any further. If you have been detained or arrested, exercise your right to speak to a lawyer immediately.
Drug trials are a complex area of criminal law. Two cases that may seem similar could have entirely different outcomes. Critical facts that matter to your case are: The nature of your charges, the type of drug allegedly trafficked or possessed, and the weight of the drugs. Your personal circumstances, such as if you have a previous criminal conviction for drug possession, trafficking, production, or importing/exporting, all can affect the outcome.
Dale Melville, founder of Dale Melville Law Corporation, has successfully defended drug possession and drug trafficking charges in British Columbia.
Mr. Melville offers a free initial consultation to help you understand how you could proceed. Give us a call at 604-265-7020 today. In the consultation, Mr. Melville will explain the multiple defence options when defending your case.
Here are some frequent drug charges, the complexities of drug charges in British Columbia, and some approaches Mr. Melville may use to beat your criminal charge.
Possession of drugs is one of the most common drug charges in Surrey BC. The severity of your drug charges depends on the ‘class’ of drug you are charged with. This includes MDMA, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, and others.
What does possession mean? Possession, according to the law, requires that one must have knowledge of and control over the drugs to be in possession of them. Possession means the drugs could be in your pocket, backpack, car, house, storage locker. Even though drugs may be found in a suspicious place – such as your backpack, car, or house, the Crown must prove you had knowledge and control beyond a reasonable doubt. The phrase reasonable doubt has been defined by the courts as being closer to an absolute certainty than a balance of probabilities. That means if you likely had the drugs in your possession you should be found not guilty. That means if you probably had the drugs in your possession you should be found not guilty.
Only when and if the Crown can prove that you were in possession of the drugs, beyond a reasonable doubt, should you be found guilty by the trial judge.
Even if after trial you are found guilty, that is not end of the court process – just the beginning of another. Just because you have been convicted of possession of drugs it does not mean you are going to jail – See Penalties and Consequences of Drug Convictions
A charge of Trafficking drugs generally means you sold drugs to another person. You can be charged with drug trafficking for helping someone sell drugs by knowingly driving them around to sell drugs or assisting someone in purchasing drugs. If you give someone drugs you can also be charged and convicted with drug trafficking.
Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
A charge for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (“PPT”) is generally when you are in possession of drugs, and those drugs were to be for the purpose of trafficking. To be convicted of PPT at trial the Crown must first prove that you were in possession of the drugs (Possession is addressed above), and the drugs were for the purpose of trafficking. Crown must first prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of the drugs. If possession is proven, then the Crown must additionally prove the drugs were for the purpose of trafficking.
In some cases, the Crown fails to prove the drugs were for the purpose of trafficking but does prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in possession of them. If this happens you could be found not guilty of PPT, but guilty of possession. Possession is a much less serious offence than PPT.
A conviction at trial for PPT can be based on several factors. The Crown can lead evidence of police observations made of alleged drug transactions, and seizures after arrest. The Crown can also lead evidence gotten from judicial authorizations – wiretaps, search warrants of homes, cellphones, or cars.
Crown counsel often calls a drug trafficking expert to give opinion evidence against you in court. That opinion is often based on the presence of ‘the indicia of drug trafficking’ – which means indicators of drug trafficking. They types of indicators of drug trafficking the courts have commonly held are: a large amount of drugs (kilograms rather than grams), a large number of different types of drugs, multiple cellphones, score sheets (list of names and amounts of money owing), and weapons.
If charged with drug possession, trafficking, or PPT, you may be able to apply to have the evidence excluded or your charges stayed by arguing a violation of your Charter Rights. The police sometimes violate your rights by not letting you call a criminal lawyer in a timely manner, unreasonably searching or seizing things, strip searching you without legal sufficiency, or detaining/arresting you without legal sufficiency. Those are just some examples – If you are charged with a drug offence you need to contact a criminal lawyer to seek legal advice and know your options.
I went from looking at 3-5 years and got out within 3 months of the day I was incarcerated. He was always respectful to my family and me.
– N.L., Google Review
Dale Melville Law’s Approach
As an experienced criminal defence lawyer, Mr. Melville understands the uniqueness of your case. Whether to try and exclude the evidence before trial, to challenge the evidence during trial proper, or to seek a resolution is your decision, but that decision must be properly informed. You need someone to listen to what happened, read all the disclosure, and give you good advice. This does not mean telling you what you want to hear – this means telling you what you need to hear. What you need to hear is a legal opinion based on the facts of the case, the current state of the law, and experience in the courtroom to help predict likely outcomes.
Penalties and Consequences of a Drug Conviction
Illegal drug possession, trafficking, and possession for the purpose of trafficking are taken very seriously by the criminal justice system. Depending on the offence and the offender sentences can range widely – from a conditional discharge for personal possession of a couple grams, to lengthy jail sentence for trafficking kilos.
Regardless of the length of penalties, a criminal record can prohibit you from employment opportunities, and can impact international travel, especially to the United States.
Your Surrey Drug Lawyer – Dale Melville Law
Hiring the right drug defence lawyer can make a difference. Dale Melville treats each client with the respect and fights vigorously for their rights at every stage of the trial process. See the Results page for
To schedule your free consultation with Mr. Melville, call us at 604-265-7020.