There are four main types of drug-related offences that you could be charged with depending on the circumstances. These include production, possession, trafficking, and importing or exporting of drugs. It is the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that governs these offences, establishes which substances are illegal, and lays the outline and the scale of punishment.
Learn about the different types of drug-related offences, the respective laws governing them, and the potential sentences.
Drug-Related Offences & Sentences
The sentences for drug-related offences under the CDSA will depend on the type of drug involved, summarily or indictment proceedings, and the actual offence. It is up to the court to impose the sentence between the minimum and maximum penalties marked in the Act.
The different offences and their potential sentences are as follows:
The laws related to drug possession and its punishment are mentioned in section 7 of the CDSA. Acts of cultivating, manufacturing, synthesizing, or harvesting an illegal substance are governed in this section.
- Production of Schedule I/II drugs involves a minimum of 2 years and a 1 year imprisonment respectively and a maximum of life in prison.
- Production of Schedule III/IV/V drugs results in punishment based on the proceedings. There is no fixed minimum punishment.
The laws related to drug possession and its punishment are laid out in section 4 of the CDSA.
- Possession of Schedule I/II/III drugs attracts the same conviction on proceeding summarily. You may be fined a maximum of $1000 or up to 6 months of imprisonment or both. Further offences lead to an increase in fine and term.
- If it is an indictment proceeding, there is a maximum term sentence of 3 to 7 years based on the drug.
The offence of drug trafficking and its sentences are covered under section 5 of the CDSA. It involves transporting, selling, providing or delivering an illegal substance.
- Trafficking Schedule I/II drugs could attract life imprisonment. Mandatory minimum terms can apply based on the type of circumstances involved.
- Trafficking Schedule III/V drugs could result in up to 18 months of imprisonment based on summary proceedings and up to 10 years if the proceedings are by indictment.
- Trafficking Schedule IV drugs can result in up to 1 year in prison if it is summarily proceeding and up to 3 years if it is an indictment proceeding.
Import and export of drugs are covered under section 6 of the Act.
- Import or export of Schedule I/II drugs can result in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The minimum sentence is based on the conditions laid down in the CDSA.
- Important or export of other types of drugs results in a prison sentence based on the proceeding.
Things to Know
If you are charged with a drug-related offence, you should take all the steps required to defend yourself. It is important to know a few things in this regard so that you can take the right steps:
- Drug investigations usually lead to searches of people, homes, and vehicles. The law relevant to these actions is complicated and the search powers of the police vary. The search factor can thus vary from one case to another.
- If you get arrested on the charges of drugs, you have the right to remain silent and call your criminal defence attorney such as Martine Thibodeau Avocate Criminaliste for consultation.
So, it is recommended to keep the above-mentioned points in mind if you or a loved one are ever charged with a drug-related offence. You should call the right type of lawyer to help defend you.