Drug Offences

Tranters frequently act in drug cases that involve the sale, supply, production, cultivation, and importation of drugs. We also represent clients during proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, whereby the prosecution seek to recover any financial benefit illegally obtained from those convicted of drugs offences.   

Sentencing for drug offences has become increasingly harsh in recent years, with the Government’s desire to employ criminal prosecution as the ultimate deterrent seeing even minor level involvement in drugs risk the potential of a lengthy prison sentence. Therefore, it is essential to get expert advice from a solicitor as early as possible in the defence of a drugs investigation. For skilled and proficient legal advice from the police interview stage - Call 0161 998 9999 or Email: info@tranters.co.uk

Drugs are categorised into three main classifications, A, B and C, with class A constituting the most serious:

  • Class A Drugs include Cocaine, Ecstasy and Heroin
  • Class B Drugs include Cannabis and Amphetamines, such as Speed
  • Class C Drugs include Steroids and Tranquilisers, such as Ketamine

Possession

A person caught with a small amount drugs on their person, whether it their pockets or in a bag under their control, can be charged with possession of illegal drugs.

A prison sentence is very unlikely for straight possession, but the maximum sentences for possession of each class of drug are:

  • Class A - up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)
  • Class B - up to five years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)
  • Class C - up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)

Possession with Intent to Supply

Possession with intent to supply generally refers to drug dealing, but even sharing drugs amongst friends at a party can be considered as supplying and be included within this offence.

A person charged with possession with intent to supply can only have their case dealt with in the Crown Court, and a prison sentence is very likely if they are found guilty or even if they plead guilty early on. The maximum sentences for possession with intent to supply drugs are:

  • Class A  - up to life in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)
  • Class B or Class C - up to 14 years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)

Production/Cultivation

These offences are treated with the utmost severity by the courts because they have the potential to involve large scale operations which often employ vulnerable people, including illegal immigrants, to make them function. Sentences, therefore, vary based on the different level of involvement an individual has had in the production of a drug, with more lenient sentences given to those with a lesser organisational role. Nonetheless, the maximum sentences for the production of drugs are:

  • Class A - up to life imprisonment or an unlimited fine (or both) 
  • Class B - up to fourteen years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)  
  • Class C - up to fourteen imprisonment or an unlimited fine (or both) 

Drug Importation

Drug importation and conspiracy to import drugs investigations are taken extremely seriously due to the large amounts and values of drugs usually involved. Often prosecutions in this area involve a number of government agencies including HM Revenue and Customs, SOCA and the Police. Importation cases are usually lengthy as they can centre on conspiracies involving a large number of individuals and, like many drugs cases, regularly contain a high level of mobile phone and computer evidence. Expert examination of such evidence is often critical to the prospects of a successful defence, so receiving skilled advice from a solicitor as early in the proceedings as possible is vital. The maximum sentences for the importation of drugs are:

  • Class A - up to sixteen years or an unlimited fine (or both)
  • Class B - up to ten years in prison or an unlimited fine (or both)
  • Class C - up to eight years imprisonment or an unlimited fine (or both) 

The nature of drugs investigations means that they routinely involve large amounts of complex and technical evidence. Whilst the greater the amount of evidence the prosecution possesses may appear to suggest the stronger the prosecution case is, it also often means the greater the potential for error or mistake on the part of the police and CPS. Our solicitors meticulously review every detail of the evidence presented against our clients and are specialists in the cross examination of mobile phone analysis, cell site analysis, forensic evidence and undercover surveillance evidence. From our extensive experience of drugs investigations we fully understand the most effective ways to present the defence of our clients or litigate for the most lenient sentence available to them - Call 0161 998 9999 or Email: info@tranters.co.uk

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