At Conspiracy Solicitors, we specialise in all aspects of drugs offences from the least serious, which are dealt with in the Magistrates Court, to the most serious offences which are tried in the Crown Court.
We are repeatedly asked to assist clients who have already, at some time during the course of an investigation or Court proceedings, instructed solicitors but are for whatever reason not happy with their representation. We are used to dealing with such enquiries and advising as to the transfer of a case from previous solicitors to this practice. We believe that it is important for a client to feel confident in their legal representation and feel that their lawyer is doing everything he or she can to assist.
Possession Of Drugs
If you are caught in physical possession of a drug you will be charged with possession. This applies even whether or not you knew the drug was a “controlled substance”, although there is a defence under section 28 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 if you can prove that you neither knew, nor suspected nor had reason to suspect that the substance was a controlled drug. You will be charged with straightforward possession of a controlled substance if you are found to have any amount of a Class A drug, e.g. Heroin, Ecstacy, or more than a minimal quantity of a Class B or Class C drug, e.g. Cannabis.
The maximum sentence which can be imposed for possession of a controlled substance is 7 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court for possession of Class A substances.
Supplying Or Offering To Supply Drugs
This offence involves the intention of passing on a controlled substance to another person. This offence is made out even where the supply is between friends for free, for example sharing a cannabis cigarette (joint, reefer etc) with a friend. The supply of a controlled substance is a very serious offence indeed and dealt with as such in the Courts.
These offences can be dealt with either in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court depending upon the severity of the case and the amounts involved. The maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment or an unlimited fine within the Crown Court for supplying a Class A controlled substance.
Our experience has shown recently that with reduced resources, the police are targeting people who are actually supplying controlled substances as opposed to clients who have a small amount of drugs for personal use.
We have defended many cases involving the supply of controlled drugs, ranging from small amounts of cannabis, cocaine or heroin, up to huge drugs conspiracies involving large quantities of drugs and many defendants from all over the country. In many cases we have secured Not Guilty verdicts for our clients, or have persuaded judges to dismiss cases at half-time due to evidential or disclosure problems.
We are familiar with the issues arising where large drugs conspiracy cases are prosecuted, ranging from the sheer volume of paperwork and evidence which requires managing, to the complexities of dealing with telephone billing and cellsite evidence, or covert policing methods.
Where all else fails we’re experienced in dealing with the sentencing process, and have often been able to obtain advantageous sentences for our clients or have sentences which were excessive reduced on appeal.
Production Of Controlled Drugs
Conspiracy Solicitors have immense experience in dealing with production Of controlled drugs offences, some of which have attracted extensive interest from the national media.
This offence covers the cultivation and/or manufacturing of controlled drugs, whether it be half a dozen cannabis plants in the loft or garage, or an extensive commercial grow worth thousands of pounds. You may commit the offence if you were directly or indirectly involved with the production process. Indirect involvement could be the letting out of premises for the purposes of cultivation, where you are aware that production is taking place. Of course, it is for the Prosecution to prove that you were actively involved in some way and if they can’t do that their case should fail.
The offence is made out where:
1. A controlled drug is being produced;
2. There was some link between you and the production process;
3. That you knew a controlled substance was being produced.
We have dealt with many of these cases, and have, for example, been able on occasion to persuade judges to exclude important Prosecution evidence due to concerns about the manner in which police conducted searches, with the result that cases collapsed.
Production Of Controlled Substances With Intent To Supply
A separate charge of Production With Intent To Supply will apply if the prosecution can show that you have produced a controlled substance with the intention of supplying it to another. This will usually arise in circumstances where there is a large scale commercial production.
The same issues of complexity would arise as in other large scale drug cases. We’re experienced in dealing with these issues so if you need help we’d be the right place to come.
These are very serious offences and it is important therefore that you are properly advised by a solicitor and/or a barrister at each and every stage of the investigation. We at Conspiracy Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge in all types of drugs offences.
Other aspects of drugs law
Amongst the other drugs cases we’ve dealt with, we also have experience of the law relating to drugs searches. In one case we obtained the acquittal of a client who was alleged to have tried to smuggle cocaine into a prison. The evidence was thrown out after we exposed flaws in the searching process which had rendered all the searching conducted unlawful.
Another common issue in drugs prosecutions is confiscation and proceeds of crime. We’ve dealt with many complex POCA hearings and can advise you about what may follow in these circumstances.
Sentencing for drug supply offences is complex, and sentences can range from fairly small to extremely long. The sentence which is imposed will depend on the following features:
- The type of drugs involved: Class A, B or C, Cocaine, Heroin, Cannabis etc
- The amount or value of the drugs involved: small amount or a much larger amount worth thousands of pounds
- The role of the individual: leading (an importer or wholesale supplier), significant (a smaller wholesaler or an organiser in some other way, or major street dealers) or lesser (couriers and junior runners)
- Whether there was a plea or a conviction after trial
- Previous convictions, whether offence was on licence or on bail
- Length of time over which the offence was committed.
There are of course many other variables, and every case is different. For an example of the features looked for and considered you can always look at the Sentencing Council’s Definitive Sentencing Guideline for Drugs Offences.