Offering to supply drugs or ‘being concerned’ in the supply of drugs is a criminal offence, even if you don’t have the drugs on you at the time of the alleged wrongdoing. If you have been accused of a drugs offence, our expert criminal defence solicitors can help.
At Conspiracy Solicitor, we are a specialist criminal defence team who are dedicated to representing individuals who have been arrested or are facing investigation and prosecution for serious drugs offences.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will always try to prosecute where the supply of Class A drugs is involved (and in most cases where Class B and Class C drugs are involved). When deciding whether to charge for being concerned in the supply of drugs, the prosecutors will often rely on circumstantial evidence, such as things you’ve said or done, to prove that you were preparing to supply drugs. Having the drugs physically on you when you’re arrested or accused is not necessary to be charged with this offence.
Therefore, it is essential that you seek legal advice from solicitors who are skilled at handling these types of cases. Our team includes qualified police station representatives and court advocates who can represent you at every stage of the criminal justice system. We are fierce lawyers who will ensure that your legal rights are respected. With us on your side, you have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.
Our team have achieved the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation as evidence of our skills representing people in criminal proceedings.
Call 07711 627048 at any time 24/7 for urgent police station representation.
How our drug offence solicitors can help you
Drug offence investigations can be complex, often involving intelligence operations to engage with suspects and obtain cell-site data, as well as gathering evidence from the suspect’s words or conduct, possession of drugs themselves, and possession of things like cash and drug paraphernalia.
Choosing which drug offence to charge someone with is often a careful balancing act for prosecutors after taking into account all the evidence. Our goal is to cast doubt on that evidence or even get it discounted altogether so the prosecution cannot prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that you were concerned in the supply of drugs.
We have a strong reputation for achieving positive results, including helping clients avoid criminal charges, receive an acquittal at trial or have the charges reduced to something less serious, like possession of drugs.
Police station representation
If you or someone you know has been arrested or invited to the police station for voluntary interview under caution, it is important to contact us immediately for advice.
Everyone is entitled to free legal advice while at the police station, so there are only benefits to seeking our assistance.
Anything you say or do at the police station can be used against you later on, either during a decision about whether to charge you with an offence or as evidence during trial. Having the support of a specialist police station representative can ensure that you do not say or do anything to make the situation worse. In fact, in many cases, we are even able to halt the investigation at the police station stage, saving you from the stress of going through further criminal investigation and prosecution.
So, ask to call Bird & Co Solicitors in Grantham and one of our specially trained police station representatives can provide assistance.
What does being concerned in the supply of drugs mean?
Being concerned in the supply of drugs or being concerned in an offer to supply drugs are ‘supply’ offences under sections 4(3)(b) and 4(3)(c) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
You can be convicted if prosecutors can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you have said or done things in preparation to supply and either you have supplied drugs or you’ve made an offer to supply. Prosecutors do not need to prove that you produced drugs or had drugs in your possession.
The offence covers people who can be implicated in drug dealing but haven’t actually been caught with drugs on them, as well as couriers, looks-outs, advertisers, and other people involved in the chain of supply.
Can you also be charged with other drugs offences, such as possession with intent to supply?
Where you are charged with being concerned in the supply of drugs, you will not be charged with other supplying offences, such as possession with intent to supply or permitting premises to be used for supply.
However, if more than one type or class of drug is involved, it is possible to be charged with more than one offence.
What is the sentence for being concerned in the supply of drugs?
The offences of supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug under section 4(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 together with the offences of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply under section 5(3) of the Act are called ‘triable either way’ offences. This means that you may be sentenced in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court (where sentences can be much higher).
The exception to this is if you are also accused of a third drug trafficking offence, for which the minimum sentence is 7 years imprisonment. Offences involving Class A drugs can count as drug trafficking offences. These will typically always be tried in the Crown Court.
The maximum sentences for being concerned in the supply of drugs are:
- Being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs – life imprisonment
- Being concerned in the supply of Class B drugs – 14 years’ custody and/or an unlimited fine
- Being concerned in the supply of Class C drugs – 14 years’ custody and/or an unlimited fine
Sentencing guidelines for being concerned in the supply of drugs
Sentencing for drugs offences is extremely complex. When sentencing for the offence of being concerned in the supply of drugs, the court takes into account:
The offender’s ‘culpability’ – whether they took a leading role, significant role, or lesser role in committing the offence (e.g. someone who only plays a minor role might is likely to get a lesser sentence than someone who plays a leading role).
The harm caused – this is based upon factors such as the weight and quantity of the product, unless the offence concerns street dealing or supply of drugs in prison by a prison employee. The sentencing guidelines offences set out 4 categories; for example, a case involving high quantities of drugs (e.g. 10,000 tablets of ecstasy or 200kg of cannabis) would be Category 1.
Depending on the category of harm, the type of drug involved and the role of the offender, there is a starting point minimum sentence that all offenders receive. For example, the starting point for a Category 1 offence involving Class A drugs where the offender had a leading role has a starting point sentence of 14 years’ custody.
The court will also take into account other considerations, such as mitigating and aggravating factors, to decide exactly what the final sentence should be. For example, mitigating factors could include:
- Being pressured or intimidated
- Having no previous convictions
- Feelings of remorse
Aggravating factors could include:
- Having previous convictions
- Using someone under the age of 18 to deliver drugs
- Committing an offence while on bail
If you please guilty or are convicted for being concerned in the supply of drugs, part of our role as your solicitor is to try to achieve the best possible outcome for you. For example, we will make representations on your behalf in relation to your alleged role in the offence and highlight mitigating factors.
Depending on the seriousness of the offence, this representation could mean the difference between a prison sentence and community service, so it is essential to have a legal expert by your side during sentencing.
What is the minimum sentence for being concerned in the supply of drugs?
There is a wide range of potential penalties for being concerned in the supply of drugs, all of which will depend on what is discussed above: the offender’s culpability, the harm caused, and the type of drug involved.
Working off this, the minimum sentence someone can receive when being charged with the offence of being concerned in the supply of drugs is a Band A fine and a medium level community order. This would be if someone is deemed to have played a lesser role in supplying a Category 4 level of a Class C drug.
Sentencing Council have published a comprehensive guide to the sentences for being concerned in the supply of drugs, providing clear detail on what the minimum punishment someone is likely to face depending on the circumstances of their case.
Contact our drug offence solicitors today
Call 07711 627048 at any time 24/7 for urgent police station representation.