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Toronto Drug Charges & Possession Lawyer

A conviction under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) is a criminal record with serious consequences. Over the years, Adam Weisberg's reputation has developed into a lawyer that regularly conducts drug trials. The firm has defended numerous CDSA charges and is highly qualified to take your case.

Drug Lawyer Toronto 

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (the “CDSA”) governs drug charges in Canada. The penalties and seriousness of the allegations depend on the type of substance allegedly involved and the action taken. Generally speaking, fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines will lead to the lengthiest of sentences.

Importing is regarded as the most serious offence, followed by trafficking and possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

New amendments to the CDSA came into force in November of 2012 that demonstrate the government’s tough on crime agenda. Trafficking that involves a youth or that occurs for the benefit of a criminal organization now attracts minimum prison sentences. Importing cocaine and heroin now attract one or two-year minimum sentences depending on the weight of the alleged importation. All drug offences should be treated seriously. Many of these minimum sentences have been struck down by courts as Charter-infringing.

Even a conviction for simple possession of marijuana can impede a person’s ability to travel to the United States.

What Types of Drug Offences Do We Defend?

We defend against all drug charges or drug offences. We have successfully defended against everything from the most basic possession charge to large-scale drug trafficking charges. 

Drug trafficking and importing offences carry heavier penalties than most people appreciate. It is important that people facing these serious charges hire the best lawyer they can afford.

What is the Best Defence to a Drug Charge?

We will consider your case carefully, conduct case-specific research, and closely examine the allegations, as well as spend considerable time discussing the allegations with his clients and doing field research. Our goal is to find the best available defence for your drug charge or drug offence.

Early in his career, Adam Weisberg successfully defended a cocaine possession for the purpose of trafficking case by attacking the police conduct and use of their Taser weapons. The charges were dismissed due to violations of the accused’s Charter Rights since the police were found to be not credible and have used their Taser weapons in a cruel and unusual manner.

Mr. Weisberg obtained an acquittal for a man accused of possessing two kilograms of cocaine (estimated bulk worth $50,000) because a reasonable doubt was raised as to whether or not there was a police conspiracy behind the cocaine.

In recent years, Mr. Weisberg won a case involving an allegation of possessing over 70 kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking due to serious section 10(b) Charter breaches.  In another case, charges involving trafficking of Oxycodone were stayed due to a section 11(b) Charter breach.  And, in another recent case a kilogram of cocaine and several hundreds of thousands of dollars in alleged proceeds were excluded from evidence due to a section 8 Charter breach.

The best defence for a drug case depends on the specific facts of each case. Hiring an experienced and successful criminal lawyer will help you ensure the best results.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Charter is often relied upon where the prosecution is able to establish possession of the drugs. A capable lawyer will be able to analyze the case to determine if there were violations of the Charter that could potentially lead to an acquittal. In complex drug offence cases, there are often search warrants and wiretap authorizations used by the police. If a Charter violation can be demonstrated, it may be possible to have drug charges dismissed depending on the seriousness of the violation.

The most common Charter rights engaged in drug cases are section 8 (search & seizure), section 9 (arbitrary detention), and section 10(b) (rights to counsel). At Weisberg Law we conduct detailed interviews of our clients early on in the process. We want to determine what evidence we need to preserve and who we need to interview.  Starting a case the right way can often lead to the best result.

If you or a friend is facing drug charges, contact Adam Weisberg to discuss your case and determine the best defence.


Frequently Asked Questions

In Canada, we have summary and indictable matters. Indictable matters would be similar to a felony in the United States, while summary matters would be similar to misdemeanour charges. Drug possession in Canada (where it does not involve an allegation of trafficking) are always hybrid offences. Hybrid offences allow the prosecutor to choose whether to proceed summarily or by indictment. The sentences available are much higher for indictable matters. Prosecutors will proceed summarily in almost all simple drug possession cases (where the substance is clearly for personal use).

The sentencing for possession of drugs varies greatly across the country. Most people in the Greater Toronto Area will not go to jail for small quantities of drugs (even hard drugs) where there is no intent to traffick or distribute. Jail for addicts is generally reserved for repeat offenders that show little to no signs of rehabilitation, or for offenders with larger quantities of drugs.

For serious drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine, the maximum sentence for trafficking is life imprisonment. A life sentence for drug trafficking would be reserved for only the very worst offenders. The sentences for trafficking in fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, etc., will most often be lengthy terms of imprisonment. The length of the sentence is dictated largely by the quantity of drugs involved, the role of the offender, and the offender’s criminal record.

The drugs in the car do not automatically prove possession. In order to prove possession, the prosecution must prove both knowledge and control beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution’s task to prove possession is harder than a layperson might think. A criminal lawyer will also analyze the totality of the stop to determine if the police conduct was Charter-compliant. Breaches of Charter rights can lead to the drugs being excluded from evidence and a finding of not guilty.

There are numerous defences to drug possession and drug trafficking. A criminal lawyer can review the grounds for the search warrant and potentially launch a Charter challenge that could exclude the drugs. The prosecutor will also have to prove knowledge and control beyond a reasonable doubt in order to establish possession. Establishing possession is fact specific and much more difficult than most laypersons would believe.

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