Defending against drug possession charges requires expertise within the general practice of criminal law. Law enforcement investigations into drug possession cases tend to be more complex, which results in more intricate legal proceedings compared to many others. Choosing a lawyer with meaningful experience defending drug prosecutions can make or break a case.
Patrick C Fagan, K.C. has a stellar track record of not only defending but winning drug possession cases. As the only criminal defence lawyer in Canada with five years of experience as Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) drug investigator, he has unparalleled experience crafting defence strategies in drug possession cases.
Defending Calgary Drug Possession Charges
Drug possession is one of many drug-related criminal charges and refers to the possession of an illegal substance in your control. The crime is listed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), which is a federal legislation that prohibits the possession of a wide range of substances unless authorized. The most common substances listed in the CDSA include cocaine, heroin, ketamine, MDMA, LSD, and opium.
Oftentimes, drug possession charges are initiated because of traffic stops or arrests for other offences. After being arrested and charged with drug possession, the courts must provide evidence that the substance found was illegal and that the accused person was in possession of it. Even if the accused person did not physically possess the substance at the time of the arrest, they could still be charged with drug possession within the scope of the law. In addition to physical possession, the law also considers the following as “possession”:
- Constructive possession: keeping the substance with someone else or at another place with the person’s consent and knowledge
- Joint possession: keeping the substance with someone else or at another place with all persons’ consent and knowledge
Drug possession charges can be complex to navigate since these kinds of cases tend to be highly intricate. Defending against such charges requires in-depth knowledge of the Criminal Code of Canada, the CDSA, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Patrick C Fagan, K.C. has that knowledge.
35 Years’ Experience Tearing Apart Calgary Drug Possession Charges
In the last 35 years, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. has dedicated his career to tearing apart drug possession charges. He has successfully defended hundreds of drug cases in Calgary and across Canada, ranging from simple drug possession to high-profile drug seizures.
$8 million drug seizure – verdict: not guilty
Patrick C Fagan, K.C. defended two clients in the largest drug seizure in the history of the Calgary Police Service. The police apprehended the two men in a van as part of a three-month-long investigation into drug trafficking and found around 66 kilograms of cocaine and 30 kilograms of methamphetamine inside.
Multiple media outlets, including the Toronto Star, CBC News, Gateway Gazette, and CTV News, reported on the incident, referring to the seizure as “shocking” and “record-breaking.”
The two men were arrested and charged with drug possession and faced lengthy prison terms of up to 14 years. However, after a hard-fought trial, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. secured verdicts of not guilty on all charges.
Man charged with drug possession – verdict: all charges withdrawn
Regina v. R.M.B. [Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary – August 2017]
Police pulled over R.M.B. on the road due to a seat belt infraction during which they detected the scent of cannabis marijuana. They placed the man under arrest for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and, upon searching the vehicle found cannabis, marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.
A conviction would have caused severe disruptions to R.M.B., who had no prior convictions. Patrick C Fagan, K.C. defended the man in court and successfully convinced the Crown of his Constitutional position vis-à-vis to search and search, resulting in a complete withdrawal of all charges.
What are the Potential Consequences of a Calgary Drug Possession Charge?
Drug possession is a “hybrid offence,” meaning that the crime can be prosecuted either by way of indictment or by summary election, depending on the circumstances of the case. This determination significantly impacts the severity of the penalty.
- Prosecution by indictment: A conviction can result in a jail sentence of five or seven years, depending on the circumstances, including the nature and amount of the controlled substance.
- Prosecution by summary election: The first offence can result in a fine of up to $1000 and/or a maximum jail sentence of 6 months, while subsequent offences can lead to a fine of up to $2000 and/or a maximum jail sentence of one year.
Regardless of the penalty for a drug possession charge, a conviction can have far-reaching negative impacts on the accused person. Many suffer reputational consequences in their community and face difficulty finding employment. In some cases, a drug possession charge can impact travel and other legal matters, such as immigration or child custody.
What Common Defences Rip Apart Drug Possession Charges?
Defending against a drug possession charge can be a complex matter, but most defence strategies rely on tearing apart the prosecution’s case that you had knowledge and control of the substance in question. This can include:
- Proving that you did not have knowledge of the substance and/or did not have control over it
- Showing that you are authorized to possess the substance
- Arguing that the arrest and seizure of the substance violated your Constitutional rights
- Giving evidence that you have improperly identified by law enforcement
How Patrick C Fagan, K.C. Can Help You
Before practicing law, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. had extensive training and experience in conventional criminal investigations, undercover techniques, wiretapping, interrogation, search warrant preparation and execution, surveillance, and witness preparation. His experience as an RCMP drug investigator resulted in his testimony being accepted as a Provincial Court and Superior Court expert in drug matters — put simply, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. has unique expertise in defending clients against drug possession charges.
Contact Patrick C Fagan, K.C. Now
With long-standing experience in defending drug possession charges, Patrick C Fagan, K.C. understands how to fight these charges in court. To learn more about how we can help you, call 403-517-1777 or contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.