Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Recent Cases

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking - Charges Stayed

self defence

Ms. Williamson’s client was recently charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking under the CDSA. During a routine traffic stop, the police officer purportedly saw a meth pipe in an open purse. Based on this observation, the police officer conducted an invasive search of the vehicle and charged the driver and our criminal lawyer’s Calgary client (the passenger) with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Section 5 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act states:

Trafficking in substance

  • 5 (1) No person shall traffic in a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V or in any substance represented or held out by that person to be such a substance.

Possession for the purpose of trafficking

  • (2) No person shall, for the purpose of trafficking, possess a substance included in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V.

The police seized methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl. All the drugs seized were seized from a designer purse and a small black bag. None of the drugs that were seized were within reach of Ms. Williamson’s client.

In order for the prosecutor to prove the client was guilty of possession for the purpose of trafficking, they must prove the client was in possession and had knowledge and control of the drugs. The law does not require the prosecutor to prove knowledge of the exact drug. This means as long as there is knowledge of a drug, any drug they find will suffice.

Sentencing and penalties for possession for the purpose of trafficking are significant in Alberta. Prison is a very real possibility for anyone convicted of trafficking or in possession for the purpose of trafficking. The Alberta Court of Appeal has set starting point sentences for each drug depending on certain factors.

Possession can be proven by way of physical possession, joint possession or constructive possession. For Ms. Williamson’s client, the prosecutor couldn’t prove any form of possession. Through skillful negotiation, the charges stayed.

This case demonstrates the need to have a skilled and experienced criminal drug lawyer who can identify the legal issues and the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Once that occurs the opportunity to negotiate and obtain the best possible outcome is possible. Here, Ms. Williamson’s client avoided a criminal record and imprisonment.

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When you’re facing possible jail time over a fraud charge, it’s important to find the right defence lawyer. Our defence lawyers team can help make sure you are well represented, and your rights are being protected.

We will advocate in your best interest to make sure you aren’t unjustly charged.

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