Possession, trafficking and conspiracy to commit drug offences
Drug offences occupy a very large area of criminal law and are often intertwined with other complex sections of the Criminal Code dealing with proceeds of crime, extradition, search warrants, guns and gangs. To successfully defend drug charges, it is essential that you retain a law firm with extensive experience across a broad spectrum of related offences. Your lawyer must also have the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing drug laws that are evolving right now in Canada.
Drug charges can be targeted at traditional illegal narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, hashish and heroine but we have seen an increasing focus in recent years on so-called “rave” or “party” drugs including ecstasy, GHB, and ketamine. Another recent focus of police drug enforcement has been in the area of prescription drug abuse. Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman lawyers have acted for many people (including doctors, nurses and pharmacists) who have been charged with possession or trafficking of substances such as OxyContin, oxycodone, morphine, and others.
The myth of the “simple” possession case
Many clients come to us facing a single drug charge of a relatively minor nature such as possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy. Particularly in the case of marijuana, there is a mistaken perception amongst the Canadian public that these offences are treated lightly. That is often not the case. If facing any sort of drug charge, it is vitally important that you contact a criminal lawyer who is familiar with drug prosecutions. BPS lawyers are routinely successful in securing diversion for many drug offences so that our clients leave court without criminal records.
Many professionals fail to realize until they are charged that even a “minor” possession of marijuana charge may need to be disclosed to their professional regulator and could impact their ability to remain licensed to practice. It is also common for clients to be unaware that any record of a drug charge could create significant travel obstacles for many years to come – particularly as it relates to the USA. At Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, we have worked with doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and many other professionals to ensure that a single drug charge does not derail an entire career.
The International Dimension
In high-level import/export cases, it becomes vitally important that you retain a lawyer with a strong understanding of international law and a deep network of lawyers around the world that can be called on to assist in cross-border or out-of-province cases. Our lawyers are recognized around the world as trusted professionals who can handle the most complex defenses for people charged in Canada. Similarly, our blackberries are filled with contact information of equally talented lawyers outside of Ontario who we can call upon when a case crosses jurisdictional boundaries.
Marijuana “Grow Ops”
The days of soft sentencing for cultivation of marijuana are in the past. Commonly referred to as “grow ops”, police forces across Canada are using new police powers and search techniques in combination with strict new sentencing terms and proceeds of crime legislation to attack residential marijuana cultivation.
The lawyers at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman are well versed in all the latest law including unique search and seizure issues such as hydro warrants and FLIR (forward-looking infrared) aerial photography. We know the police techniques and we understand how crown attorneys build their cases. We are meticulous in our review of disclosure and tenacious in uncovering every possible defense available to our clients.
There are times when clients approach us with an acknowledged drug problem that directly relates to the reason they are caught up in the criminal justice system. The lawyers at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman work with the best health care professionals and drug treatment programs across the province to ensure that our clients have all the assistance they need on the difficult road to recovery and rehabilitation.
In some cases, a client may be eligible to participate in the government-run Drug Treatment Court. Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman lawyers will lobby on your behalf and prepare the necessary paperwork and applications to ensure access to these unique programs.
A criminal defense lawyer will make every effort to answer your questions promptly and personally – you will not be shuffled around through layers of staff. When our lawyers are in court, our office staff will respond to your concerns immediately and professionally. Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman welcomes the opportunity to be your Toronto Criminal Lawyer. Don’t waste time, call now to consult with us.