If you are under investigation or have been charged with a drug offence, an experienced criminal lawyer can protect your rights. Drug-related offences can have extremely serious consequences. Simply being accused can destroy your reputation. If you are convicted of a drug offence such as drug possession, possession for the purposes of trafficking, trafficking, conspiracy, importation or production of illegal drugs, you may end up in prison, on probation, or subject to substantial fines. You will likely get a criminal record, which may permanently limit your employment opportunities and where you can travel. Even if you have been caught in the act or feel your case is hopeless, your first step should be finding a good drug lawyer. Winnipeg criminal lawyers at Saheel Zaman Law Corporation have previously discussed how to find the right defence lawyer if you are facing drug charges. In today’s post, our Winnipeg criminal lawyers will discuss how a good drug lawyer can protect your rights.
Here is how an experienced drug lawyer can protect your rights
A criminal lawyer with experience in defending drug charges can advise you of your rights and ensure that your rights are protected at all stages of the criminal process:
If you are being asked to give a police interview. Advance legal advice can protect you. If you have been asked to talk to the police or to go to the police station to be interviewed in relation to a criminal investigation, your response should be: "I want to speak with a lawyer first." See here for how a criminal lawyer can protect you in a police interview.
If you have been detained or arrested. You have the right to speak to a lawyer without delay if you are being detained or arrested by the police. Ask to talk to a lawyer right away. As soon as you ask for a lawyer, the police should stop questioning you. If the police keep questioning you, remain silent. You do not have to say anything else, and you should not say anything else – anything you say to the police can later be used as evidence against you. Swift advice from a good drug lawyer can help protect you from self-incrimination and explain what the police are permitted to do during investigation or arrest. Armed with that protection and information, you will be able to make better decisions about next steps to deal with the situation.
If the police search you (or your home, your vehicle, your phone, your computer, etc.). You have the right to be free from illegal search and seizure. A good drug lawyer can intervene and investigate the circumstances to determine whether there have been any Charter breaches (e.g., search warrants or production orders were improperly obtained by the police; the police did not have reasonable and probable grounds to conduct the search). If the search was improper, a good drug lawyer will challenge the evidence collected and the arrest or charges that flowed from the improper search.
If your property has been seized by police. During investigation, police will seize any drugs found, but it is also very common for police to seize money or other personal property such as cell phones, computers, or vehicles. While confiscated drugs will be forfeited and destroyed, a good drug lawyer can assist you in recovering personal property that has been seized in the course of investigation.
If you are denied bail/being held in custody. You have the right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause. A drug lawyer can make forceful submissions on your behalf at your bail hearing and argue for the least burdensome conditions of release. Some drug offences are reverse onus offences, which means that if you are charged, you must “show cause” as to why you should be released before trial. Criminal defence lawyers with experience defending drug charges can help prepare a release plan to present to the court at your bail hearing.
If your case goes to trial. Drug prosecution cases can be highly complex. There are many steps leading up to a trial and at the trial itself, and at each stage of the process you need a skilled drug lawyer to advise you, protect your rights, and provide you with a strong defence strategy. Pre-trial Charter applications may result in the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence at trial. Negotiations with the prosecution may result in charges being dismissed or reduced. At trial, the Crown must prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt; an experienced drug lawyer can challenge weaknesses and exploit inconsistencies in the Crown’s case to your advantage with the goal of securing an acquittal or withdrawal of charges. 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, search warrants, or weapons offences. The stakes are simply too high to leave yourself unprotected.
Protect your rights – talk to an experienced drug lawyer
Winnipeg criminal lawyers atSaheel Zaman Law Corporation are well versed in all aspects of Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If you have been arrested or are under investigation, contact us immediately to ensure your rights are protected. If you have been charged with a drug offence, don't try to navigate the criminal justice system on your own. We have the knowledge and experience you need, whether you are facing charges such as drug possession, drug trafficking, conspiracy, importation, or drug production. Our Winnipeg criminal lawyers offer a free initial consultation – schedule yours today by filling out our contact form, or contact us today to arrange a consultation to discuss your drug related charge at 204-943-9922.