The Most Common Drug Charges

The most common drug charges I see in my office are charges for possession of marijuana or cocaine.

Someone charged with having a little bit of marijuana or little bit of cocaine is the most common drug charge not only in my jurisdiction, but also in the province and in the country.

Drug charges rarely result in trials. The drug court has a lot of plea bargains and resolutions short of a trial, but very few matters go to trial. Most cases are resolved by either the person pleading guilty or the charges being withdrawn. The law is straight forward and it’s very difficult to win on a technicality because the law considers possessing the drug to be in possession of real evidence as opposed to impaired driving where you provide a breath sample, and that’s considered evidence that is created by the individual.

People often tell me that the evidence was found by breaching their rights under the Charter. They will claim that police did an unlawful search or overstepped their bounds in some way. However, because the drug is real evidence it is very unlikely that it would ever be excluded as evidence against someone facing a drug charge. As long as the police are acting in good faith, the evidence of the search, which is usually real evidence such as a drug, will still be considered in court notwithstanding a Charter violation or breach.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, contact Engel and Associates for a consultation.

This article is taken from a November 12, 2007 interview with Bruce Engel, Criminal Lawyer with Engel and Associates, an Ottawa, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.