What Are My Defences Against Drug Charges?

by Jillian Williamson on Jun. 21, 2022


Summary: What Are My Defences Against Drug Charges?

What Are My Defences Against Drug Charges?

Charged with a drug offence in Calgary? Wondering what defences are available to you? To beat a drug trafficking charge, your best bet is to hire an experienced criminal lawyer.  The criminal defence lawyers at Alberta Legal have experience defending clients against all types of drug charges. They are skilled and experienced in this complex area of the law and can help you understand the defences available to you.

Some of the most common defences against drug charges include:

Violation of Your Charter Rights

If your Charter rights were violated during your arrest or a police search, then any drugs found on your person or property may be excluded from the trial as a result of the violation.

Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, every Canadian is entitled to a number of   rights that the police may not violate during the course of an investigation. These rights include:

  • Right to life, liberty, and security of the person;

  • Right to be free from unlawful arrest or detention;

  • Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures;

  • Right to retain and instruct their counsel without any delay. They also have the right to be informed of such rights.

If your counsel can demonstrate that police overstepped these boundaries, then any drugs found may be inadmissible as evidence.

Entrapment By the Police

Entrapment is when the police trap or induce you into committing a crime you would not commit otherwise. If you were induced to commit a drug offence that you would not have otherwise committed, you might be able to argue entrapment.

The two ways to establish entrapment are:

  • There must be evidence that the police instigated the crime; and

  • The accused must show that they would not have committed the crime but for the police conduct.

You Were Unaware of the Drugs

The police may find drugs when searching a residence. As such, anyone living in that residence may be charged with possession of drugs. However, legally, "possession" connotes that the resident has knowledge and control of the existence of drugs on their property.

If you were unaware that the drugs were present, you might have a defence to the charges. For example, if someone placed drugs in your car or your home without your knowledge, you would not be held guilty of possession of those drugs. 

Exceeding the Powers Granted by a Warrant

The police have the power to examine your person or property to look for evidence, provided there is a warrant, and reasonable grounds for such search.

However, a warrant cannot be used as a "blank cheque" for the police to do whatever they want. The warrant must be specific, and the police can only search for and seize items listed in the warrant. Also, you are lawfully allowed to examine the warrant, and the police should oblige. If it is found that the cops exceeded their powers under a warrant, then any evidence they find may be excluded from your trial.

These are just some of the defences that may be available to you. If you find yourself charged with a drug offence in Calgary, contact Alberta Legal via https://albertalegal.ca/ to discuss your case and learn more about the defences available to you.


This article was published with assistance from dNovo Group, a digital marketing agency for lawyers. For more information please visit https://dnovogroup.com/

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on Lawyer.com is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com. The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.