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What Is the Maximum Sentence for Drug Trafficking in Calgary?

Drug-related charges are complex and serious, resulting in severe penalties of maximum life imprisonment and a criminal record for drug trafficking or drug possession. However, it's important to discuss drug trafficking to understand the penalties. You must also contact and hire a lawyer for drug possession and trafficking, as handling these charges on your own isn't easy. So, let's dive into the conversation.

What Does a Drug Trafficking Charge Cover?

Drug trafficking charges cover a broad range of drug-related crimes. They, however, do have one common aspect, these charges can have a significant impact on your life. But, when looking at the maximum sentence for drug trafficking in Calgary, it's important to look at one important factor that will help determine the sentence.

This factor includes the definition of drug trafficking. Calgary defines drug trafficking as the offence of possessing illicit drugs or controlled substances with the purpose of trafficking them. This crime is similar to drug possession. However, the difference is the additional element of being charged with the intent of transporting or selling the substance.

According to recent statistics, possessing illicit drugs with the intent of trafficking is Calgary's second most common drug-related offence. Unlike other drug-related offences, drug possession with the intent to traffic is more serious.

The maximum sentence for drug trafficking in Calgary is life imprisonment. However, the maximum penalty you receive will depend on the type of drug you want to traffic. Trafficking cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, morphine, opium, or GHB carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment. Magic mushrooms and LSD carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment if you are prosecuted by indictment and 18 months if prosecuted through summary.

How is Drug Trafficking Proved?

There are several factors detectives look into to prove a drug trafficking charge. These factors include:

  • Illicit drugs or controlled substances are present in large amounts. The amount found might be inconsistent with personal use.
  • The controlled substances have high quality or purity level than the normal
  • The controlled substance is worth lots of money
  • The presence of tools typically used to aid in drug trafficking like phones, baggies, and scales.
  • Packaging of the substance in a way that's consistent with trafficking.
  • Large amounts found with controlled substances indicate prior substance sales.

If any of the above factors are presented as evidence, a judge can interpret that you intended to traffic the substance.

How Can a Lawyer Help with Drug Trafficking Charges?

Now that you know how serious a drug trafficking charge is, how do you fight it? Your best hope would be to fight the charges with a lawyer's help. So, how can a lawyer help you?

They Can Help You Understand Your Rights

The first thing your lawyer can help you do is to understand your rights and the law related to drug trafficking. Most people often assume that drug trafficking charges are clear-cut cases. However, your fate isn't sealed as yet, as several factors could affect your case.

With the help of your lawyer, you can determine if the circumstances surrounding your arrest were within your rights. Your lawyer will want to know if:

  • The drug trafficking charge was initially a routine traffic stop
  • The officer entered your home with a warranty
  • You were coerced to admit to several things when detained.
  • You were racially profiled

If any of the above aspects occurred during your arrest, it could have a massive impact on your case. However, proving that these factors took place isn't easy, which is why it's important to hire the right lawyer.

Manage Paperwork

Almost all cases, including drug trafficking, come with lots of paperwork. The last thing you need on your mind when facing drug trafficking charges is filing paperwork. Working with a lawyer guarantees that you have the legal help you need to file the right documents for your case.

If the prosecutor proceeds to court, you must ensure that everything on your paperwork is done accordingly. Putting the wrong date, forgetting to include your initials, or putting the wrong date can have drastic consequences for your case. You wouldn't want to jeopardize your freedom because of a missing document or initials. Your lawyer will help manage your paperwork and ensure everything is filled out accordingly.

Prepare for the Worst

No matter their experience, any lawyer can tell you that nothing is guaranteed, especially in court. This is why working with an attorney who thinks ahead is important. If you find one who promises you heaven on earth, especially in your case, it would be best to avoid them. Sometimes avoiding jail, especially with a drug trafficking charge, is difficult. Your lawyer will work with you to help protect your family when you aren't present.

Prepare Defense for Your Case

Another way a lawyer can help you with your drug trafficking charge is by preparing your defence. This usually starts by acquiring evidence to prove your innocence. Based on the evidence they receive; they can then decide to:

Go to Trial: In Calgary, this means trying to prove your innocence. However, drug trafficking cases aren't black and white, as several complexities are involved. If your lawyer decides to go to court, they can:

  • Challenge the facts of your arrest
  • Interpret the laws regarding drug trafficking in your favour
  • Apply abuses of the Charter of Rights and Freedom

Alternative Measures program: For people who are found in possession of a small amount of illegal substances, your lawyer can help you negotiate for an alternative measures program. This program allows the suspect to complete community service in exchange for having their charges dropped.

Negotiate Potential Plea Deals

Not all cases end up in front of a judge; some suspects get plea deals from the prosecutor. In such cases, you need a lawyer present to help you negotiate the terms of your agreement. They can also help explain the terms of your plea deal and offer you legal advice whenever necessary.

Drug trafficking charges carry a severe sentence. But, with the help of a lawyer, you improve your chances of fighting these charges. However, make sure you go to a lawyer with years of experience handling drug trafficking cases, as they have handled several cases similar to yours.