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ScotsLawPro, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
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Experience:  LLB (Hons), Dip LP, NP
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In the past (2 years ago) I was caught with approx (5g cannabis)

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In the past (2 years ago) I was caught with approx (5g cannabis) at the time of arrest I was studying the arrest took place during April and as I intended to travel to NZ where I live outside of term time, I instructed officers that I was giving them 2 address 1 a term time address the other the address of where I would be staying in NZ. Whilst in NZ for 2 months the fine was sent to my Term Time address in st-Andrews, there it remained un-open and inevitably on return to the UK i was forced to answer myself in-front of a court. Despite the obv mistakes by the police I was given the same fine although this remained on my record. Since paying the fine I have remained un bothered by the conviction alas I have been caught again and need some help, this time I have been caught with 1.9g with a street value of £9 this has been taken straight to court without any caution and within the statement there are errors. I really need help as this may effect my visa's! any help would be appreciated



Thank you for your question.


The fact that you were caught with the drugs is perhaps the most important thing and not what is contained in the summary of evidence you have been provided with. This summary is primarily to assist solicitors and accused persons to begin to prepare cases to defend them, or to make a decision as to whether a guilty plea is to be tendered. If a not guilty plea is tendered, full statements would then be provided, but again these are just a guide to what the actual evidence might be and they are not themselves evidence. As you have a previous Misuse of Drugs Act conviction possession of any amount will almost certainly always result in you being prosecuted I am afraid.


Minor drugs convictions should not prohibit you entering the UK or getting a visa, I am assuming you are a NZ citizen.


Hope this helps. Please click ACCEPT for my time to be credited.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi ScotsLawPro,

Thank you very much for your swift reply, it was very informative. I am actually a British national with permanent residence in NZ. The one thing I would like to clarify is that their is no way to appeal the past conviction considering by law it should only be a warning? (class C possession first offence) I just find it a tad unfair that I was not given my warning like everyone else would have been.

Also what type of punishment will I be given by the procurator fiscal for this second offence and whether or not my living means will be tested in relation to any fine? Finally I leave for NZ on the 30th June and the court appearance is on the 25th, am I still allowed to leave the country even though I won't have received my punishment? I feel that considering the offence took place at the end of May and the letter arrived at the beginning of June to have the court appearance on the 25th has given me very little time to prepare or consider my options is there any way to delay the appearance until I return from NZ? Sorry about the size of this reply I was unable to fit all that i wanted to say into the original box.

Thanks again for your excellent advice.

Hi again


As far as I am aware NZ will not remove your resident status over this, just as the UK would not do that to a NZ citizen.


As far as warnings are concerned there is no such legal principle in Scotland, warnings are an English phenomenon and are not known in Scots law. Cannabis is also once again Class B remember.


As regards XXXXX XXXXX you have been given, I realise that it is quite quick, but if you are not kept custody and are released for report the law says the minimum notice you should be given is 48 hours. If you were caught in possession of the drugs I would imagine you will be pleading guilty, the best thing to do would simply be to attend at court on the 25th and have the matter dealt with there and then. You can then be certain that your means will be taken into account when the fine is announced. The disposal will be nothing more than a fine, probably in the region of £150.



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