Winning Against Drug Charges

Drug cases can include simple possession charges; trafficking charges; grow-op charges; and even importing. It is important to understand the law of illegal search and seizure in Canada in order to properly defend these charges. It is also important to know when to take a deal when it is offered. The following case summaries provide a sampling of cases that I have handled where I have both worked out great deals for my client and situations where I have either won trials or convinced the prosecutor to withdraw the charges. Regardless of the approach taken, all of my clients have been thrilled by the results I have obtained for them during my defense of their drug-related charges.

My Experience In Defending Drug Cases

2016 Drug Offences
4 out of 4 cases resulted in no criminal record.
2 withdrawal of charges.
1 absolute discharge.
R. v. E. - Possession of Cocaine and Over 80
Factual Background: Client was charged with driving while over the legal limit. After he was pulled over and failed a roadside screening device test, a subsequent search of the client pursuant to arrest revealed a baggie with a small amount of cocaine.

Strategy: I needed to convince the Crown that this was out of character for my client, and that if he pled to guilty to the over 80 charge they should withdraw the cocaine charge.

Decision/Outcome: Client pled guilty to the over 80 and received the minimum fine, and the cocaine charge was withdrawn.
R. v. M. - Possession CDSA x2
Factual Background: My client had been suffering from stress and panic attacks at work, had been recently hospitalized, and had just gone to the emergency ward about a week before this incident. While suffering still from the effects of his previous panic attack, he chose to self-medicate by taking street drugs and was caught by the police in possession of both marijuana and cocaine.

Strategy: To have my client receive counselling during the case so it could be shown through blood tests that he was free of illegal drugs, which we did. Ultimately the client pled guilty, and provided hospital records outlining the panic attacks he suffers from in addition to a letter from the counsellor he was seeing.

Decision/Outcome: Client received an absolute discharge from the judge.
R. v. D. (2016 Brampton) - Possession of CDSA and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
Factual Background: During a traffic stop and search quantities of marijuana and Xanax were found in a car in which my client was a passenger. Client claimed ownership of the drugs during the traffic stop so that his friends would not be charged.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that he had taken responsibility for all of the drugs because there were three other people in the car and he didn't want them to be in trouble. There were problems with how the police had conducted their search and investigation.

Decision/Outcome: Taking all of that into account, the Crown agreed to probation with counselling on a plea to one charge. No criminal record.
R. v. F. (2016 Brampton) - Possession of Marijuana
Factual Background: Young offender who was found with marijuana in his possession following a school search.

Strategy: To demonstrate that this was out of character for my client and to have him participate in a substance abuse program at the YMCA. Had my client write a letter of apology explaining what he had learned from the process.

Decision/Outcome: Crown withdrew the charges.
2014-2015 Drug Offences **9 Cases**
Out of 9 cases, 8 resulted in no criminal record. 1 case resulted in a criminal record by probation.
R. v. M. (2015 Brampton) - Possession of Marijuana
Factual Background: Following a traffic stop, client was arrested for possession of a controlled substance contrary to section 4(1) of the Controlled Drug and Substances Act.

Strategy: To demonstrate that my client suffered from a myriad of health issues including seizure disorder, and was recommended by a doctor to use marijuana for medical purposes.

Decision/Outcome: Provided the medical records to the Crown as well as the license that was obtained after the charge, and the Crown withdrew the charge.
R. v. W. (2015 Brampton) - Possession of Marijuana
Factual Background: Client was charged with possession of a controlled substance contrary to section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Strategy: Client was eligible for alternative measures as per the Crown.

Decision/Outcome: Charges were withdrawn.
R. v. M. (2015 Brampton) - Possession of CDSA (Youth Matter)
Factual Background: Client was charged with possession of marijuana under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act after he was observed smoking a marijuana cigarette by police.

Strategy: To prove that this incident was extremely out of character for my client, who was an exemplary student with a perfect GPA. I had to prove to the Crown that if my client was found guilty of anything he would not be able to attend school in the US.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. T. L. - Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking
Charges were dropped to simple possession charge and diverted the matter, accused to do community service - charges withdrawn
R. v. J.M. - Possession of Marijuana
Charges withdrawn after community service
R. v. L.L. - Possession of a Controlled Substance under CDSA (heroin)
Received an absolute discharge after showing great progress in rehab and in his employment
R. v. T.C. - Possession of a Controlled Substance under CDSA
Plea to possession of ectasy found in his car

Absolute discharge
R. v. S. D. - Possession of a Controlled Substance
Showed the Crown the extensive volunteering that he has been doing throughout his career and his career with the bank, convince the Crown to grant him diversion
R. v. Y.L. - Possession of a Controlled Substance
Convinced the Crown there was no prospect of conviction, charges were withdrawn
2013 and older cases
R. v. D. (Brampton Court, February 2013)
Factual Background: My client was contacted by undercover police who requested to purchase marijuana off of him; client agreed and was intercepted by police and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to traffic.

Strategy: To prove that my client's actions were a result of the emotional abuse he had suffered from his old step-father as an adolescent, which began his substance abuse problems, and to show that his unemployment was a factor in his poor decision-making. Then demonstrated how my client intended to complete his education, and had resolved his issues with marijuana by himself and had completely abstained from it, and was making an effort to find employment. We also attempted to demonstrate how having a record would damage my client's ability to find employment. Client showed proof of volunteer work and had made a large charitable donation.

Decision/Outcome: Client was given a conditional discharge.
R. v. J. (Milton Court, June 2012)
Factual Background: Client was pulled over by police and upon search of his vehicle was found with harvested marijuana and large amounts of Canadian currency. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

Strategy: Client's main concern was to get rid of the drug charge, and I was able to convince the Crown to allow the client to do some volunteer hours up front, and the charge was withdrawn.

Decision/Outcome: Charge was withdrawn.
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, April 2012)
Factual Background: Client was caught by undercover officers in possession of heroin and methamphetamine. The police claimed they had begun their investigation following information received from a source stating that my client was trafficking heroin. My client was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Strategy: To argue that my client's Charter rights had been violated in relation to unreasonable search and seizure and arbitrary detention.

Decision/Outcome: Judge ultimately ruled that my client's Charter rights had not been violated, and he was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance, serving 30 days of jail time on weekends. The client lost the argument but the sentence was still a light one in all the circumstances.
R. v. Le (Brampton Court, September 2011)
Factual Background: After being observed by police in a school parking lot in a vehicle which emanated a strong odour of marijuana, client was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. During his search he was found with large quantities of marijuana and large amounts of Canadian currency.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that he was a young kid with no parental supervision, and that with the right counseling, he could be pointed in the right direction.

Decision/Outcome: Crown allowed him to plead guilty to possession of marijuana, and the much more serious charge of trafficking was withdrawn. Client received a discharge.
R. v. B. (September 2011, Brampton Court)
Factual Background: Client was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, after he and three companions were found possessing controlled substances in a motor vehicle in a parking lot.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was extremely out of character for my client: he was attending medical school, did volunteer work at McMaster University, had started his own charitable organization, and had travelled to Kenya to volunteer in various hospitals and distribute medical supplies.

Decision/Outcome: Persuaded the Crown to withdraw all charges against my client.
R. v. N. (Brampton Court, June 2010)
Factual Background: Police executed a search warrant on my client's house and found ecstasy pills in amount enough to result in a charge of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking. Police also found a sawed-off shotgun and the client was charged with possessing it.

Strategy: Crown was seeking 7 years in jail. I chose not to argue with the Crown about their sentencing range because their position was so high that I figured the judge would not give it any weight. I then obtained a book full of character reference letters and developed a plan for employment once the client was released.

Decision/Outcome: Judge imposed a 9 month house arrest sentence in addition to the time the client had already spent in jail and gave the judgment in such a way that the Crown would not be able to appeal.
R. v. F. Ontario Court of Justice, Orangeville Ct., 2009
Factual Background: Client was charged with Trafficking in Cocaine after the police executed a search warrant at this house and found a large supply of cocaine and cash.

The Strategy: Find a solution that avoids a criminal record for the client. He has a good work record and has never been in trouble. Get the client into counseling to make sure there is no re-lapse or further problems. Review the search warrant and have the information to obtain that warrant unsealed so that I can review it to determine if it was lawfully issued.

Decision/ Outcome: I was able to convince the Crown that the information to obtain the warrant was insufficient and as a result, my client’s rights were violated. Crown agreed to withdraw the charges and return most of the seized cash to my client.
R. v. D. Superior Court of Justice, Brampton, 2008
Factual Background: Client was charged with Trafficking in Cocaine and it was a large amount. The Prosecutor was seeking 3 years in jail. The client had previous counsel who had gotten off the record at the last minute before the client’s scheduled trial and I was called.

The Strategy: Get the trial adjourned so that I could have some time to review the case and make some intelligent arguments to the prosecutor.

Decision/Outcome: The trial was adjourned and I conducted a pre-trial with the judge and the prosecutor. I was able to convince the prosecutor that the police had messed up the search of my client and had potentially violated his rights. I was also able to show proof that my client had complied with very strict bail conditions for almost 3 years and that he had really changed his life. The client received a sentence of 90 days in jail (of which he only did the first 2 days and then did volunteer work instead) plus house arrest for 15 months.
R. v. DF. Ontario Court of Justice, Old City Hall Court, 2007
Factual Background: Client was charged with Trafficking; Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking; Importing; and Weapons Dangerous. The police did a huge press release to make the client look like a huge criminal including the weapons dangerous charge which was pepper spray on his wife’s key chain.

The Strategy: To embarrass the police by shedding light on their deplorable conduct and have the charges withdrawn.

Decision/Outcome: Crown and police originally talking about penitentiary time in the range of 5 years. Client plead guilty to the regulatory offence of mislabeling drug containers for a fine of $300.
Related to
Drug Charges, Drug Trafficking,
Drug Possession and
Related Drug Offences