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Drug charges – what you need to know
07 Jun 2021

In the field of criminal law and based on conviction rates in the UK, drug charges and penalties are the most common form of criminal prosecution. Our criminal solicitor has extensive experience in representing those who have been accused of drug charges and a long history of resolving cases in our clients’ favour.

If you have been accused of a drugs charge, it is vitally important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible and do not make any formal statements until you have gained legal counsel.

In the UK, there are prohibited substances. The prohibition of these narcotics extends to the taking, carrying, making and facilitating the trade of all supplies of drugs. The nature of the charge is not only dependent on how the prohibitive substance is being used, but also which substance.

Class A drugs are the most serious drugs regulated as part of UK law. The possession even for individual use of Class A drugs comes with a seven-year prison sentence and an unlimited fine due, as the policing philosophy revolves around harm reduction. Small quantities of even class A drugs possessed for personal use are unlikely to result in a prison sentence, but will involve a mandated enrolment in a drug rehabilitation programme. Negotiating the terms of these drug rehabilitation programmes and for going custodial sentencing is one of our goals as a criminal solicitor.

Drugs possession

Possession is the most common drug offence; defending someone who has been accused of possession will depend on the volume of the narcotic that was found and how it has been prepared. Drug preparations which imply they are packaged for sale are likely to result in a far more serious charge of intent to supply. Whereas substances which have been prepared for consumption, like the grinding of marijuana or dissolving of heroin, are more likely to result in a possession charge as they indicate personal use.

Ambiguity in drug law

The nature of the illegal trade in drugs results in products which are unlikely to be reliably labelled and their composition is unlikely to be known by the average user. It’s entirely possible for an individual to believe they are in possession of a class C or B drug, only to find that it has been doctored with a class A substance and therefore they would be charged with the possession of a class A substance. Negotiating that these cases all need to be dealt with in the lower drug category is one of the forms of representation that we implement when providing police custody representation.

An aspect of the drugs trade is the use of underage individuals as runners, to move unlabelled packages between dealers, which has led to an increase in drug possession charges against minors.

Even from this short article, it may be obvious to you that the application of drug law is not cut and dried and that the complexity of your case will have to be dealt with by an experienced professional. For further information, which may be more relevant to you, feel free to contact our office to speak with our professional criminal solicitor.

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