Toronto Drug Lawyer
Richard has successfully defended clients charged with drug offences, including:
- Possession for the Purpose of trafficking
Being charged with a drug offence can be very serious. The consequence can range from a discharge, a criminal record and even jail. For certain individuals, especially persons charged for the first time, the collateral consequences of being found guilty of a drug offence can be worse than the sentence issued by the judge. For example, a conviction can negatively impact present or future employment and restrict your ability to travel, particularly to the United States.
Richard has successfully assisted individuals defend drug charges since 2001, including first time defendants, youth, and professionals. In certain circumstances, Richard can negotiate with the prosecutor for a result that involves no criminal record or even a complete withdrawal of the charges.
Winning Strategies & Defences
If the matter goes to trial, Richard has a long history of identifying winning strategies and defences, including:
- That the Crown failed to prove his client had possession of the drug
- Failure to prove the “nature of the substance” (that the substance was in fact the drug alleged)
- Identifying violations of his clients constitutional rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, leading to the exclusion of the drug and a dismissal of the case
- If the drug is located inside a residence, establishing that there were no grounds for the search warrant to be issued
- Lack of proof that the drug was possessed for the purpose of trafficking
Schedule a Meeting
Richard is always available to meet with you one-on-one to review the evidence, answer your questions and identify strategies for a successful result.
Call today to schedule a no charge consultation if you or a family member is charged with a drug offence.
Drug Offences Case Successes
R. v. S.H. (Toronto)
- Allegations: Police execute search warrant at S.H.’s residence. Locate loaded firearm, in addition to a large quantity of heroin and cocaine.
- Defence Strategy: Application filed asserting violations of S.H.’s constitutional rights. That search was unlawful because the police misled the issuing justice and that the warrant was granted without reasonable grounds.
- Result: Application granted. Trial judge agrees with defence counsel that S.H’s Charter rights were violated and all evidence must be excluded. All charges dismissed.
R. v. J.F. (Toronto)
- Allegations: During traffic stop, police located quantity of drugs in centre console of vehicle.
- Defence Strategy: Argue that police search of the vehicle was unlawful in violation of J.F.’s constitutional rights.
- Result: Charges withdrawn by Crown without need for trial.
R. v. D. S. (Toronto)
- Allegations: Client charged with conspiracy to import large quantity of cocaine through airport.
- Defence Strategy: Application to stay charges based on violation of client’s right to be tried within a reasonable time as mandated by s. 11(b) of the Charter of Rights.
- Result: Charges stayed by trial judge.
R. v. A. S. (Toronto)
- Allegations: Client charged with trafficking in cocaine.
- Defence Strategy: Establish that police search of A.S. violated his constitutional rights.
- Result: Charges withdrawn by Crown prior to trial.
R. v. D.L. (Newmarket)
- Allegations: Police locate drugs and firearm within vehicle that D.L. was driving during a traffic stop.
- Defence Strategy: File application to exclude evidence based on police racial profiling of D.L. in violation of his constitutional rights.
- Result: Charges withdrawn by Crown prior to trial.
What must the prosecutor prove in a drug case?
Prosecutors have the burden of proving every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes the fact that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed illegal drugs and the type and quantity of drugs.
How can the crown prove actual possession?
To prove actual possession of illegal drugs, the Crown must show that the accused had control over the drug and knew it was illegal. Eyewitness testimony or video footage is the most common way to prove this. However, the Crown can also use circumstantial evidence to infer knowledge and control. This might include the accused being found in a room where drugs were being used or sold or having narcotics paraphernalia in their possession. If the Crown can prove that the accused had knowledge of the drug and control over it, they will likely be able to convict her of possession of an illegal drug.
How is knowledge of the illegal drug proven?
To prove that a person knew about the presence of drugs, prosecutors might look at factors such as whether the defendant was in close proximity to the drugs, whether they made any statements acknowledging knowing about the drugs, and whether they had any prior convictions for drug crimes.
Must I own the drug to be found guilty of possessing it?
No. You can be found guilty of drug possession in most jurisdictions even if you don’t own the drug. This is because drug possession laws typically criminalized the act of having control over drugs, regardless of who actually owns them.
How is control over the illegal drug proven?
The Crown can prove control over the illegal drug of a person in Canada through a variety of methods. One way is by demonstrating that the accused had knowledge and dominion and control over the drugs. The Crown can also show that the drugs were found in an area under the accused’s exclusive possession and control, or that the accused was in possession of drug paraphernalia indicative of trafficking.
Can I be found guilty of possessing a drug not found on me?
Possession of a drug not found on you is not a crime. However, it could lead to other charges if the police can prove that you were aware of the drug’s presence and intended to use it. For example, if the police find drugs in your car, they may charge you with possession with intent to distribute.
Can two people be found guilty of possessing the same drug?
Yes, two people can be found guilty of possessing the same drug. In some cases, if the drugs are found in close proximity to each other, it may be presumed that they are both in possession of the drug. If evidence points to both individuals being in possession of the drug, they will likely both be charged with possession.
What if I was subject to an illegal search by police?
Police officers are legally allowed to conduct searches and seizures in certain circumstances. However, it may be considered an illegal search if they do so without probable cause or a warrant. If you are subjected to an illegal search by police, you may have a civil rights claim against the officer or the department. You may also be able to file criminal charges against the officer, depending on the severity of the Search.
Is it possible to challenge a search warrant?
It is possible to challenge a drug search warrant, but it depends on the situation. In some cases, there may be grounds for challenging the warrant if law enforcement did not follow proper procedure or if there was no probable cause to support the search. If you are arrested as a result of a search that was conducted pursuant to a valid warrant, you may be able to challenge the arrest and/or the evidence seized in court. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help.