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 criminal law firm in Toronto 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 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.
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. BSB 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 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.
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.
Beyond the criminal charges themselves, we act for clients whose homes become the subject of seizures due to the discovery of 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 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 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 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 Shikhman welcomes the opportunity to be your criminal lawyer. Don’t waste time, call now to consult with us.
The lawyers at Bytensky Shikhman have been successful at every level of drug prosecution from minor marijuana charges to large scale cross-border heroine production and trafficking conspiracies. We can help you defend against possession, possession for the purposes of trafficking, trafficking, conspiracy, importation and production cases.
A project is a large-scale police investigation into suspected criminal activity. Drug projects often begin with a tip from a confidential informer alerting police to a suspected drug trafficker. The police then spend months or even years working to uncover the suspected trafficker’s network through extensive investigation including physical and electronic surveillance of multiple people. These cases involve multiple co-accused, huge volumes of disclosure, and complex legal issues.
Since project cases usually involve multiple search warrants and wiretap authorizations, a common way to defend the charges is to challenge the validity of the search warrants and wiretap authorizations. This can be done, for example, by challenging the reliability of the information police provided to the justice who authorized the warrant or wiretap. If your lawyer can demonstrate an issue with the validity of the warrant, he or she can then argue that the evidence ought to be excluded from your trial. This is a highly complex area of law, and it is important to have the expertise of experienced counsel.
Proceeds of crime is any property or money that is derived directly or indirectly from the commission of an offence. Oftentimes, when police execute search warrants in drug cases, they locate money they believe is tied to drug trafficking. Where police have seized suspected proceeds of crime in connection to charges that were laid, the Crown may bring a forfeiture application under the Criminal Code or under Ontario’s Civil Remedies Act.
Under s. 462.34(4), you can apply to a judge for an order releasing some or all of the seized funds to pay for your legal counsel. You will need to demonstrate that:
Under the same section, you can similarly make an application for the release of funds to meet your reasonable living or business expenses.
Don’t delay – contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer with decades of experience to have the best chance of winning your case.
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