As one of the UK’s most highly-regarded, successful and busy criminal and regulatory law firms, our solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with all types of drug offences. By instructing our drug offence lawyers you can be assured of the best possible legal advice and representation.
The Legal 500 describes us as:
“A forward-thinking firm with its finger on the pulse of the market. Head and shoulders above a lot of the competition. Agile and modern.”
This approach, allied to our experience, expertise, and determination, makes all the difference when it comes to winning cases for our clients, and this is especially so in the area of the law relating to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Not only do our in-house team have the experience and understanding of how to respond immediately to accusations of involvement in drug-related crime, but we also work with the UK’s top expert witnesses and barristers (including King’s Counsel) who we can instruct if required.
From the first moment you engage our services, we will advise you on key matters such as
- How to handle search warrants;
- Advising at the police station interview.
- Proceeds of Crime Act implication e.g. money laundering
We will listen carefully to the details of your case, review the evidence available, and recommend a strategy for your defence at the earliest possible opportunity. This is crucial because decisions taken in the first few hours of arrest can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.
If you instruct us you can be assured that we will do all we can to avert prosecution; where this is not possible, you can be assured that we will provide you with the highest level of advice and representation throughout, up to and including trial at the Crown court and advice on appeal.
What is the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971?
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 classifies drugs into three categories. Class A contains the most addictive and/or dangerous drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine, and LSD. Class B drugs include amphetamines and cannabis. Drugs that fall into Class C include GHB and Khat. Regardless of the allegations against you, we will be able to intervene and provide expert legal guidance on all offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, including:
- Possession of a controlled drug.
- Possession with intent to supply.
- Production, cultivation or manufacture.
- Supplying another person.
- Offering to supply another person.
- Allowing a property to be used or to consume, supply or manufacture controlled drugs.
- Being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs
- Importation of controlled drugs
We are often instructed in cases where clients face allegations of Conspiracy to commit the offences listed, our specialist team of drug offence lawyers will quickly and confidentially intervene to get control of your case, making themselves available where and when needed to represent you.
What is the difference between possession and supply of a controlled drug?
It is common for the prosecution to charge defendants with ‘possession with intent to supply’. This is a more serious offence than simple ‘possession’. To prove possession, the prosecution must show you ‘possessed’ the drug, i.e. it was on your person or in your control (for example in the glove compartment of your car) and that you had knowledge of this fact.
Evidence that can indicate a person may be in ‘possession with intent to supply’ can include
- the amount of the controlled drug in the persons possession;
- mobile phone traffic, messages and history suggesting ‘dealing’ or selling;
- and/or the presence of unexplained or large amounts of cash.
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you intended to provide the controlled drugs to another person who had no legal right to possess them.
We will intensively prepare for your trial and collate the necessary evidence required to support your case.
Can I be prosecuted if I am caught possessing a controlled drug such as cannabis for medical purposes?
Unfortunately yes. This is an enormously controversial topic that has received significant media attention over the last five or so years. As the law currently stands medical cannabis can only be prescribed by a specialist doctor (not a GP) for the following:
- Children and adults with rare, severe forms of epilepsy.
- Adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy.
- People with muscle stiffness and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
It has been argued before the courts that refusing to allow defendants to rely on medical necessity as a defence is a breach of their rights under art.3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) (prohibition of torture). The courts have rejected this argument on the grounds that because the State did not inflict the pain suffered it is not under a duty to alleviate it. Allowing people to self-medicate via unlawful means would conflict with the aims of the legislation.
What is the defence available under section 25 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971?
Section 25 provides a defence to production and supply, possession, and cultivation of cannabis. It states that a defence is available if the defendant can prove that they neither knew of nor suspected nor had reason to suspect the existence of some fact alleged by the prosecution which is necessary for the prosecution to prove if they are to be convicted of the offence charged.
For example, to gain a conviction for possession the prosecution must prove that you possessed the controlled drug and that you knew the substance was controlled. If the prosecution cannot prove these facts to the criminal standard (beyond reasonable doubt) there can be no conviction.
The section 25 defence is complex, however, our criminal law specialists can swiftly evaluate whether or not it can be convincingly argued in your case and advise you accordingly.
Will I go to prison if I am convicted of a drug-related offence?
The court follows a sentencing guideline which sets out the sentences to be applied depending on the seriousness of the offence, your level of culpability, and the class of drug involved. Our specialist drug offence lawyers will advise you on what type of sentence you may receive if you are convicted or plead guilty and work tirelessly to mitigate the fine and/or custodial sentence.
You can be assured that we will advise and represent you on a drug-related offence with meticulous professionalism and expertise.
How can Reeds’ Drug Offence Lawyers Help
Reeds Solicitors is an award winning and leading top-tier criminal defence firm. If you are facing an investigation or prosecution for a drug-related offence, please contact our specialist drug offences lawyers immediately.
Obtaining legal advice at an early stage is crucial. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact us through our contact page here. Alternatively you can phone 0333 240 7373, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug Offence Case Studies
Concerned in the Supply of Cannabis
DF was charged with being Concerned in the Supply of Cannabis between 1 March 2016 and 6 July 2021.
Our client had been charged along with 2 other defendants who were said to have been involved in the same enterprise.
The prosecution argued that she had willingly allowed her rented premises to be used to store and supply cannabis from an underground bunker in her garden. It was further said that she had been involved in the money laundering aspect of the operation due to the large amounts of cash found at her address.
Our client appeared at Oxford Crown Court in relation to count 1 of being concerned in supplying a controlled drug of Class B to another. She was represented by Zoe Dudley. The crown offered no evidence on this count. This means that the judge entered a not guilty verdict and therefore the client was acquitted.
After the hearing, she was informed that there were to be no Proceeds of Crime application (POCA). This means that there will be no recovery or confiscation of proceeds made from the criminal activity. As a result, Zoe Dudley contacted the CPS to request that the money seized during the court proceedings be returned as soon as possible. The client is waiting on the money to be received.
The client was extremely satisfied that her Solicitor Zoe kept updating her, and has continued to chase the CPS for the release of confiscated money.