Drug Related Charges
There are three distinct categories or classes of drugs defined by current UK law. They are titled A through C, with Class A drugs being the most serious and Class C being the least serious – yet still illegal. The Misuse of drugs Act 1971 is the main anti-drugs legislation in the UK. Drugs subject to the act are referred to as ‘controlled substances’ and are assigned to one of the three main categories mentioned above. Our criminal law experts have experience with drug offences and can help you if you are charged with a drug offence.
SOLICITORS WHO CAN ADVISE ON DRUG CHARGES
What are the possible offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act?
Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act can include the following:
- possession of a controlled substance
- possession with intent to supply
- production, cultivation or manufacture of controlled substances
- supplying another person with a controlled substance
- offering to supply another person with a controlled substance
- import or export of controlled drugs
- allowing premises you occupy or manage to be used for the consumption of certain controlled substances (this includes only the smoking of cannabis or opium)
- allowing premises you occupy or manage to be used for the supply or production of any controlled substance or substances
What is meant by ‘possession’?
If a person has the controlled substance in their physical possession (in their pocket, for example) or they have control over it without permission to do so that person will be charged with ‘possession’. For certain medical drugs an individual must have a valid prescription to prove they had the requisite permission.
A charge of possession does not rely on the amount of the drug found, only that the individual had the substance in their possession and they were aware of having it.
What is meant by ‘supply’?
The exchange of money or any payment is not required for a person to be charged with ‘supply’ under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Simply giving the controlled substance to another person would constitute ‘supply’ and an offence. A sale does not have to take place.
The amount supplied has no bearing on the charge of supply; any amount, no matter how small, will result in a criminal charge.
What is meant by ‘possession with intent to supply’?
If an individual is found with a controlled substance in their possession and it is deemed that it is not for their personal use but rather intended to be distributed to others they will be charged with ‘possession with intent to supply’. Again, there is no requirement for a set amount of the substance to be found – only that there seems to be an intent to distribute it to others (made into smaller bundles, for example).
Will I get a prison sentence for my drug offence?
Offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act carry both prison sentences and fines depending on the class of drug found and the particular offence.
- Class A – Possession could result in imprisonment for up to seven years or an unlimited fine – or both. Supply could result in a possible life sentence or an unlimited fine – or both.
- Class B – Possession could result in imprisonment for up to five years or an unlimited fine – or both. Supply could result in imprisonment for up to 14 years or an unlimited fine – or both.
- Class C – Possession could result in imprisonment for up to two years or an unlimited fine – or both. Supply could result in imprisonment for up to 14 years or an unlimited fine – or both.
How can AFG LAW help me if I am charged with a drug offence?
AFG LAW have a team of experienced criminal law experts who can help you if you have been accused of committing a drug offence. Criminal law can sometimes be complex and difficult to fully understand – we can help you make sense of the charges against you, evaluate the evidence and advise how to proceed.
We can help you prepare your defence, represent you at trial and even help you with your appeal if it should be necessary. Should you be convicted, we can identify any appropriate mitigating factors or circumstances which may help to reduce your sentence or penalty.
Our criminal law solicitors can help you with your case and provide expert legal advice and representation throughout. If you’d like more information on drug offences please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01204 377 600 – we’ll explain how AFG LAW’s criminal law specialists can help.