Drug Offences

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With DPP Law’s help, it is possible for you to prove your innocence when facing accusations of drug offences by arguing that your intention for drug possession was different from the intention the prosecution claims that you had. For example, depending on the quantity in your possession, you can argue that the drugs in question were for your own personal use and that there was no intent to supply. This may result in a far more lenient sentence or even an acquittal.

DPP Law will examine all evidence on your behalf and help you to put together a strong defence. We can assist you at the time of your arrest, provide you with legal advice and represent you in court – so you will never have to face the charges on your own or uninformed.

If a person is arrested for drug possession charges or other drug offences, the outcome of their situation will depend on a number of factors: firstly, the circumstances under which they were found to be interacting with the drugs in question – including the amount or quantity of each drug present – and secondly, the category of the drugs in their possession.

Class A drugs including cocaine and heroin are considered to be the most dangerous, Class B drugs such as cannabis and amphetamines are considered mid-range, and Class C drugs like steroids and ketamine are thought to have the least severe effects.

Implications of Drug-Related Accusations

Whether or not you will be tried for serious drug possession charges normally depends on whether the substances in question are Class A, Class B, Class C or otherwise.

Class C Sentences

Drug offence sentencing guidelines state that individuals found in possession of Class C drugs may face up to 2 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Those found in possession of anabolic steroids are an exception to this rule, as it is legal to possess them for personal use.

However, if you are found guilty of the supply or production of Class C drugs, you may face much higher penalties. Drug production and drug importation sentencing guidelines state that you may face up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine in these circumstances.

Class B Sentences

Drug possession penalties for those found with Class B substances may reach 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Those who are accused of the production or supply of these drugs also face up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

Class A Sentences

As can be expected, Class A drugs see the most severe drug possession penalties, with drug offence sentencing guidelines stating that they may spend up to 7 years in prison if caught. Those found to have supplied or produced Class A drugs face up to life in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

All of the above drug production, drug supply and drug possession penalties depend on the value and quantity of the substance in question. Possession of small amounts may only lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice or FPN.

Related Offences

There are a small number of drug possession charges with many different outcomes depending on the classification of drug, the amount that you have been found with and whether you have previous criminal convictions. They include:

  • Drug possession
  • Drug dealing or supplying
  • Drug production
  • Drug smuggling
  • Drug importation

Drug importation sentencing guidelines reveal that this particular offence, along with drug production and the supply of drugs, are considered more serious actions and come with more severe repercussions than may be faced by those facing drug possession charges.

Drug Offences: Frequently Asked Questions

See the most frequently asked questions for this topic below.

How long does a drug offence stay on record?

If you have been found guilty of a drug offence, future employers and other authorised individuals may be able to access this information via a DBS check. Both standard and enhanced DBS checks reveal both spent and unspent convictions for an unlimited period of time. However, a basic DBS will not reveal “spent” convictions. If you are jailed for over 30 months, the conviction will never be considered “spent” and will show up on all checks.

However, if you were jailed for between 6 and 30 months – whether on drug possession charges or for other reasons – your conviction will be spent after 10 years. For those who have spent less than 6 months in prison, it’s seven years. For those who have been handed a fine or community order, it’s five years. If the offender is under 18 at the time of arrest, the length of time until the conviction is spent will be halved.

What is the prison sentence for drug dealing?

Depending on the class of drug a person is caught supplying, a drug dealer may face anything from an unlimited fine to life in prison according to drug offence sentencing guidelines.

What is the Minimum Possession For Possessing Class A Drugs?

According to the UK’s sentencing council’s guidelines, the minimum sentence a court can impose on a person found guilty of possessing a class A drug is a class C fine or 150% of your weekly income.

Which court will I have to go to for a drugs offence?

For cases of possession, or if the drugs in question are below a certain value or of a lower class, it’s most likely that a case will be heard in the Magistrate’s Court. However, if large quantities of high-class drugs are found – particularly if you are suspected to be the supplier or manufacturer thereof – or if the offence is aggravated by other elements such as gang violence, it’s more likely that the case will go to the Crown Court.

How can the court prove possession with intent to supply?

In order for the Court to convict the accused of possession with intent to supply, the prosecution must be able to prove that fact beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be done by providing evidence, such as surveillance, witness testimonies and forensic evidence.

Do First-Time Drug Offenders Go To Jail?

Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may not have to spend any time in a custodial sentence. These circumstances include factors such as the amount of drugs you were found with, whether you have any previous convictions, and whether or not you’ve pled. There is no definite answer to this question – you should consult your defence team for more information.

Does Pleading Guilty Reduce Your Sentence in the UK?

In most cases, a court will award a discount on sentencing to acknowledge that you have spared the court’s time and resources on a trial. However, it is important that you consult your legal team before doing so — as you may have a valid defence. 

Legal Help From DPP Law

It’s an extremely serious matter to be accused of drug-related offences. If you require legal assistance following an arrest or accusation, get in touch with DPP Law today for a free consultation and to see how we can assist you.

Our criminal defence solicitors can defend you if you have been accused of any of the below criminal offences:

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