WHAT ARE SOME COMMON DEFENSES TO POSSESSION?
Drug charges can sometimes have a number of issues in the prosecution's case. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) is one area which a good defense lawyer with the right knowledge of case law may be able implement to either exclude evidence or stay the charges altogether.
WAS THE SEARCH LAWFUL?
The Charter guarantees all persons the right not to be subject to “unreasonable search and seizure” and the right not to be “arbitrarily detained”. The police are not permitted to arrest or detain a person just based on a “hunch”. They need to have what is referred to as reasonable grounds and they must carry out their search and detention in a lawful manner in agreement with the rights afforded to all individuals under the Charter.
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
If an accused is able to prove that they were unaware that they possessed an illegal substance at the time, or for instance, they were unaware that the package they carried contained drugs in it, then their may be a viable defense available of lack of knowledge. Simply saying “I didn’t know it was cocaine” will likely not cut it, however, if there are circumstances that cast doubt on the accused being aware they possessed an illicit substance, there may very well be a strong defense of lack of knowledge.
LACK OF POWER AND CONTROL
A defense is available if the accused is able to prove that he or she had no intent to control the drug. If the Crown is unable to prove control over the substance, the case should result in an acquittal.
POSSESSION CAN BE A SERIOUS CRIME
Depending on the drugs, the amount, and the circumstance, possession can be a serious crime. If you have been charged with possession of an illicit substance you should see a lawyer immediately.
OUR LAWYERS SPECIALIZE IN DRUG CHARGES
The lawyers at Bernstein Law Group deal with drug charges often and are very familiar with the various Charter arguments and case law that is relevant to a strong defense or opportunity to resolve. Additionally, our lawyers are familiar with the prosecutors and judges and are able to give you a reasonable assessment on your case as well as a persuasive and robust argument to defend your rights.