Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking

Trafficking can involve selling, giving, sending or administering. Interestingly, it is not necessary that an illegal substance actually be involved as the offence can be committed simply by offering to traffic a controlled substance. Similarly, trafficking in substance held out as a controlled substance that is in fact not a controlled substance (for example baking soda for cocaine) can amount to trafficking.

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking

In order to prove possession for the purpose of trafficking, the prosecution must prove:

  • Possession, AND
  • That the possession was for the purpose of trafficking.

The intention to traffic can be proven through statements or circumstances. Typical circumstances that tend to support a finding that an accused possess a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking include:

  • The quantity of the substance; AND
  • Packaging of the substance; AND
  • Paraphernalia associated with trafficking.

A lawyer at Mickelson & Whysall will prepare defences to both elements of the offence of possession for the purpose of trafficking. Even if the evidence of possession is strong, many times the evidence of intent to traffic is inconclusive. Moreover, the level of participation is often an issue as conviction for trafficking does not properly follow when an individual simply acts as an agent for a purchaser.

Trafficking in a controlled substance attracts a wide variety of punishments. Depending on the circumstances, including the nature of the substance and quantity involved, the jeopardy escalates. The prosecutor’s position on sentence is invariably that a jail sentence is appropriate, even in cases of first time offenders.

The drug defense lawyers at Mickelson & Whysall can help you assemble your defence. A number of defences may apply to your situation including simply a defence based on the sufficiency of the evidence of identification and participation. In addition, positive defences such as the defence of agent for the purchaser, duress, necessity or entrapment may apply. Many cases turn on the legality of the arrest and search by which the police seized the controlled substance in question.

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

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