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I just recently was given a PTA for a possesions charge and…

Customer Question
I just recently was...

I just recently was given a PTA for a possesions charge and I'm not sure what to do

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Canada

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I'm not sure I understand

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Um I've had possession charges in the past but and they were turned into which I paid off

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Canada Law
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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
They made me sign off on an undertaking to abstain from :the consumption of drugs except in accordance with a medical prescription
Answered in 17 hours by:
10/4/2017
Lawyer: CaptanLaw, Lawyer replied 10 months ago
CaptanLaw
CaptanLaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 300
Experience: I'm a criminal defence lawyer, who assists individuals charged with crimes.
Verified

Hello

I'm a criminal lawyer and can assist with your inquiry.

There are a variety of "possession" related charges that are criminal. I take it that you are referring to Possession of a Controlled Substance? If so, what was the substance you are alleged to have possessed? What is your exact question, or are you looking more of a general answer about how these cases are approached from a Defence perspective?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Methamphetamine
Lawyer: CaptanLaw, Lawyer replied 10 months ago

Meth is a schedule 1 substance, and considered a "hard" drug in Canada. Schedule 1 drug offences generally attract more punitive outcomes than the other schedules. For example, cocaine and heroin are schedule 1 drugs.

The sentencing range for meth seems to be a Suspended Sentence & Probation, at the low and, all the way up to a period of incarceration. Where the offender falls into that range will be determined by a number of offence and offender related factors, including:

a) Whether there is a similar prior record, and if so, what the convictions and sentences were;

b) Whether there was a drug addiction issue;

c) The quantity of the drug

d) Whether there was a guilty plea

As an example, in R. v. Rushton, 2017 NSPC 2 a suspended sentence with probation was imposed on 20-year-old accused for five offences, including possession of 5 tablets of meth. A suspended sentence is basically a probation sentence that involves a criminal record.

If you have prior possession charges, this would be considered an aggravating factor.

You'd be wise to sit down with a criminal lawyer, at least for a consultation, once you collect your initial disclosure package. A lawyer should review this and, first, figure out if you have any defences available to you.

Defence strategies to these charges generally are 3 fold-

1) If there was a search warrant, attack the validity of the warrant

2) If there was no warrant and the drugs were seized by police, then a close look at whether your Charter (constitutional) rights were violated and, if so, whether the drugs could be excluded from evidence. Generally speaking, the most commonly infringed rights in this type of investigation would be (a) your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure (s. 8); the right to be free from arbitrary detention (s. 9) and (c) the right to be advised of your rights to counsel (s10(b)).

3) Analyze whether the Crown can prove that you had knowledge and control of the drugs, which is an element of the offence

You should sit down with a lawyer and figure out if any legal issue can be raised that could defeat the charge. Short of that, a plan should be put in place as to how to go about achieving the most lenient sentence.

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