Drug Offences & Civil Forfeiture

The nature of the substance, the quantity and the surrounding circumstances all impact the severity of the charge when discussing drug related offences. However, no matter what the substance, the same defences apply. The lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall are experienced with all the relevant drug defences and will find the one that applies to your case.

In order to prove possession, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was:

  • A degree of manual handling; AND
  • Knowledge of the substance; AND
  • A degree of control over it.

The lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall have successfully raised possession defences in numerous cases. A possession defence may be positive in the sense of evidence from the accused and the other defence witnesses, or negative in the sense that it highlights limitations in the Crown’s evidence.

In order to prove Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (PPT), the Crown must show possession and that the substance was possessed for more than personal use. Typically, the Crown will rely on a police expert who provides an opinion in support of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. This evidence generally addresses the quantity of the substance, the manner in which the substance is packaged and paraphernalia associated with trafficking. The lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall are experienced in challenging these “expert witnesses” in order to have the opinion evidence either excluded or discounted.

In order to prove Trafficking, the Crown must show that the accused acted as more than an agent for the purchaser and indeed possessed the substance with the intention to participate in a transaction. The lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall can raise a defence of agent for the purchaser or otherwise attack the evidence led by the Crown in support of a charge of trafficking.
These defences apply in more complex situations involving production of a controlled substance and importing. In addition, numerous other positive defences exist such as entrapment, duress and necessity. The lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall are well versed in all of these positive defences and will use them to vigorously defend your case.

Moreover, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms governs the investigative steps taken by the police or customs officers. Searches must be authorized by law and conducted in a reasonable manner. Detentions must be lawful and not arbitrary. Strip searches are justified only in certain circumstances. Every detained person has the right to counsel without an unreasonable delay. In any given case, infringements of Charter rights can lead to inadmissibility of the controlled substance at trial and results in an acquittal

For further information or for a free initial consultation, please contact our Vancouver law office.

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