Drug Charges? Seven Tips for Finding the Right Criminal Lawyer
Winnipeg criminal lawyers at Saheel Zaman Law Corporation regularly defend people charged under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (“CDSA”). Drug laws are complex and drug charges are often intertwined with sections of the Criminal Code, such as the provisions dealing with proceeds of crime and search warrants, for example. The stakes are extremely high for those who have been charged with a drug offence such as possession of an illegal drug or trafficking in a scheduled substance.
A conviction under Canada’s drug laws can result in a substantial fine and the possibility of a jail sentence. A criminal record can negatively affect your job prospects and ability to travel to countries such as the United States of America. As such, it is of vital importance that a person facing drug charges consult with a criminal lawyer about their options for a strong defence. Winnipeg criminal lawyers at our firm prepared this list of seven tips for finding the right lawyer to successfully defend drug charges.
Seven tips for finding the right criminal lawyer for drug charges
Whether you need to find a criminal lawyer to defend against charges of drug possession, possession for the purposes of trafficking, trafficking, conspiracy, importation or production of illegal drugs, here are our Winnipeg drug lawyers’ top seven tips:
- Make sure the lawyer regularly handles criminal matters that include drug charges. To gauge the lawyer’s experience and success level, ask the lawyer how often they have dealt with drug charges similar to yours, and the outcomes of those cases. An experienced criminal lawyer will be well-versed in drug laws, the criminal justice process, and the different penalties for common drug offences. At your first meeting, a good drug lawyer should be able to provide you with an outline of your legal options and answer your immediate questions about the range of possible outcomes.
- Get a lawyer who is up to speed on drug laws in particular, and related laws on matters such as improper arrest and illegal search and seizure. Ask when they were last in court representing a client facing drug charges and when they last went to trial in a criminal matter involving drug offences. Criminal law is constantly developing and changes often. You want a lawyer who keeps abreast of new court decisions, policies, statutes, and regulations.
- Determine if the lawyer practices locally. For example, if you live in Winnipeg, there are major benefits to having a Winnipeg drug lawyer. A criminal lawyer who practices locally will have established connections and relationships with the courts that can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge. For example, having a lawyer who knows how the local Crown prosecutes drug offences is invaluable.
- Ask the lawyer what defences are available to you. An experienced lawyer will be able to review the facts and outline possible defence strategies (e.g., unlawful search, challenges to the manner of arrest, gaps in elements of proof of the offence) based on the known evidence.
- Find out what steps the lawyer will take to build your defence. Seasoned criminal defence lawyers can review the known evidence and determine what is needed. He or she should develop a plan for the thorough investigation of your case, including obtaining disclosure from the Crown, gathering evidence from witnesses, or retaining experts if it will help defend your case.
- Get the lawyer to explain your legal options in language you can understand. You have to know your options and the pros and cons of each so you can make informed decisions. A good lawyer will take the time to explain the nature of your charge, the process, and how a guilty plea or conviction may impact your life. If you have a drug addiction, ask the lawyer about treatment, addictions counselling or rehab. The lawyer should have recommendations for options and be able to advise you as to how taking steps to address substance abuse issues can have a positive impact on the disposition of your case.
- Consider your impression based on your interactions with the lawyer. When you are facing criminal charges and contact a lawyer, he or she should respond quickly. You need a lawyer who will be on the ball in defending you. The team at the lawyer’s office should also be responsive to your needs and treat you with courtesy.
If you are facing drug charges, don't try to navigate the criminal justice system on your own. Our criminal lawyers offer a free initial consultation, which is an excellent opportunity to put the seven tips above into action. Schedule your free initial consultation today by filling out our contact form.
Get clear legal advice from an experienced drug lawyer
Winnipeg criminal lawyers at Saheel Zaman Law Corporation are well versed in all aspects of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Criminal Code. We have the knowledge and experience you need, whether you are facing charges such as drug possession, drug trafficking, conspiracy, importation, or drug production. Contact us today to arrange a consultation to discuss your drug related charge at 204-943-9922.