What Happens When You Are Charged With A Drug Offence

Mitch Engel explains what happens when you are charged with a drug offence.

A couple of things can happen when you are arrested and charged with a drug offence. If, for example, you are charged with possession of marijuana, you could be released right from the scene. The police might give you a “promise to appear,” which is like a ticket whereby you promise the police officer that you are going to appear in court at a future date.

If you are charged with possessing a very large amount of marijuana or a harsher drug such as cocaine or heroin, then you will most likely be arrested, taken to the police station and then investigated. You could be either released there by the officer in charge on an undertaking that you will return at a later date for court as well as abide by certain conditions, or you’ll be held for a bail hearing and brought to court the next day.

If you do not have a criminal record and have been charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana or cocaine, you will likely be released from the police station. It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

When you meet with your lawyer, every effort should be made by the lawyer to get all the details of the events of your arrest while they are still fresh in your mind. These details are important, so the sooner that you speak with a lawyer the better. Memories fade with time, so I like to go through the sequence of events as soon as possible. If we’re talking about a search, it’s important to know if, during the course of the search, the police violated your constitutional rights, making you the subject of an unreasonable search and seizure. It’s very important to know the exact chronology and what the police said and what the police did and when they did it and so forth because that is often where possession cases are won. They’re very often won on the grounds of an unreasonable search and seizure.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Oshawa, Ontario Region, contact Mitch Engel Barrister & Solicitor for a consultation.

This article is taken from a January, 2009 interview with Mitch Engel, Criminal Lawyer with Mitch Engel Barrister & Solicitor, Oshawa, 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.