Edmonton Drug Lawyers Serving Alberta and Western Canada
If you have been charged with a drug offence, you are likely overwhelmed by the stress and fear of facing Alberta’s criminal justice system.
Drug offence charges are taken very seriously in Alberta’s courts, and a conviction will likely result in jail time and a criminal record that can have a severe impact on your future.
At Chadi & Company, we understand your concerns. Our knowledgeable drug offence lawyers have decades of experience and have successfully defended countless clients against every drug-related offence imaginable.
Our office is based in Edmonton, however, we defend against drug offence charges in all Alberta jurisdictions.
Been Charged with a Drug Offence in Alberta?
If you have been arrested for any type of drug offence, it is critical to consult with an experienced drug offence lawyer immediately to protect your rights. Do not speak to the police without a lawyer present.
Chadi & Company offers skilled representation for drug offence charges through every step of the legal process, from police investigations to bail hearings and trial, if necessary.
If you have been arrested on a less serious drug-related charge, police may release you with an order setting the terms of your release and future court appearances. These conditions are legally binding, and non-compliance may result in additional charges.
If you are arrested on more serious charges or have a prior drug conviction, you will likely be held in jail pending a bail hearing. Your family and friends might be prohibited from contacting you, and the police may not release information to them due to privacy laws.
It is important to know that you do not have to speak to the police, and you must be given the opportunity to call a lawyer. Obtaining legal counsel immediately helps to ensure your rights are protected and provides an opportunity to negotiate your potential release on bail.
Every drug offence case is different. Our experienced drug offence lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your specific case to position you for the best possible outcome, ensuring that you fully understand your rights and options throughout the entire process.
Penalties for Drug Offences in Alberta
Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) sets forth the drug offences, drug schedules, and aggravating factors for the court to consider during sentencing.
The penalty will ultimately depend on the offence you are charged with, the Schedule and quantity of drug involved, the presence of any aggravating factors, and the quality of your legal defence.
The most serious types of drug offences, such as the trafficking of large quantities of heroin or cocaine, carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Conviction on less serious charges may result in fines or probation, or can sometimes be dismissed.
If a person is convicted of a drug-related offence, the CSDA directs the court to consider certain aggravating factors during sentencing. These include whether the person:
- Carried, used or threatened to use a weapon;
- Trafficked in or near a school, school grounds, or any other public place frequented by youth;
- Trafficked a controlled substance to youth;
- Has prior drug-related convictions (in the past 10 years); and
- Used the services of youth or involved youth in committing the offence.
Drug offences can be complicated to defend, and even less serious charges can result in significant jail time.
If you have been charged with a drug offence in Alberta, we can help you understand the severity of your charge and the options available to you. An experienced drug offence lawyer can be the difference between a dismissal of charges and years behind bars.
Defending Drug Offences in Alberta
At Chadi & Company, our skilled drug offence lawyers have successfully defended every prosecutable drug offence in the CDSA.
As with any criminal charge, the defences available vary with the specifics of your case but some common charges are discussed below.
Drug possession charges can often seem less serious than other drug-related offences, but with penalties that include up to seven years imprisonment, skilled representation is still essential.
The legal definition of “possession” is complicated and the quality of your legal defence often determines whether the prosecution can prove the charges.
An experienced drug offence lawyer will also review the specifics of your arrest – police conduct, warrants, search and seizure – to determine whether your rights were violated.
Trafficking activities can include possession, production, distribution, transportation and/or sale of a controlled substance. Penalties can be severe, including potential life imprisonment.
As with other drug-related offences, certain aggravating factors can make imprisonment more likely, including involvement in a criminal organization, use of a weapon, and prior drug offence convictions. Trafficking charges are often complex and typically rely on a lengthy police investigation.
Avoiding or reducing jail time often relies on the ability of your lawyer to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, including challenging any police conduct or evidence that violated your rights.
Other offences under the CDSA and Cannabis Act include importing and exporting, and production or cultivation. As with all drug offence charges, penalties vary greatly based on the type and quantity of drugs – marijuana cultivation can result in up to 14 years imprisonment.
The outcome of a drug offence charge depends on multiple factors, including the circumstances and severity of the charges against you, and any prior convictions.
Contact Chadi & Company Today
If you are facing drug charges, the skilled legal team at Chadi & Company can help. We have over three decades of experience successfully defending clients against drug charges, and a proven track record of results.
Even when charges are serious, there may be ways to avoid significant jail time. Do not attempt to go through this process without the help of an experienced defence lawyer.