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Drug Trafficking Lawyer In Toronto

Mississauga, Brampton and Newmarket Drug Trafficking Lawyer

Cocaine, Heroin, Crystal Meth, MDMA, Fentanyl

Charges of trafficking in a drug or controlled substance are very serious matters that require representation by the most experienced defence counsel. Crown prosecutors vigorously pursue these cases, and you will need an effective and well-prepared defence to counter the Crown's case. Be sure that you have an experienced Toronto drug defence lawyer who understands the law and will fight to protect your rights.

Since 1985, I have been defending clients throughout the greater Toronto area facing a variety of serious drug trafficking charges, including cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, MDMA, fentanyl and other drugs.

If your case requires a jury trial, I have the necessary experience, advocacy skills and confidence to convincingly argue your case to the jury.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your drug or controlled substance trafficking case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in most cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

Information on getting assistance from Legal Aid Ontario is available here.

Protecting Your Rights in Drug Offence Cases

My knowledge and experience in these cases allows me to be proactive and effective not only in managing your case, but also in securing the best possible outcome.

In some cases, a challenge on the basis of illegal search or seizure for lack of reasonable and probable grounds is appropriate. I will closely examine the unique issues in your case and build a defence specifically designed to address them.

More information on your Charter rights is available here.

My goal is always to win an acquittal for you, and I won't recommend a plea bargain unless I believe that it is the best option in your case.

If the Crown has a compelling and overwhelming case against you, I will work to negotiate a result that minimizes the impact on your freedom and your future.

Possession of Drugs for the Purpose of Trafficking

A person in possession of a large quantity of drugs for personal use may be charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking when no trafficking activity ever took place. Circumstances that can lead to these charges may include how the drugs are packaged and possession of items or paraphernalia common to drug trafficking, such as multiple cell phones, scales, weapons and debt lists.

If you are facing charges of possession of drugs or controlled substances for the purpose of trafficking, I will do everything legally possible to mount a strong defence. I will uncover the details behind any drug arrest, including investigating the evidence against you, to interviewing witnesses and developing effective constitutional challenges to your arrest and search.

My goal is always to win an acquittal for you, and I won't recommend a plea bargain unless I believe that it is the best option in your case.

If the Crown has a compelling and overwhelming case against you, I will work to minimize the impact on your freedom and your future.

What is the sentence for drug trafficking?

Section 7.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act provides as follows:

7.1 (1) No person shall possess, produce, sell, import or transport anything intending that it will be used

(a) to produce a controlled substance, unless the production of the controlled substance is lawfully authorized; or

(b) to traffic in a controlled substance.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1)

(a) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule I, II, III or V,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years, or

(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months; and

(b) if the subject matter of the offence is a substance included in Schedule IV,

(i) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than three years, or

(ii) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year.

DNA and Other Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence, such as DNA evidence, is just one type of evidence that the Crown can try to introduce against a person accused of a crime. The defence can challenge the admissibility of forensic evidence on the basis of relevance, prejudice or that there is a lack of a sufficient scientific foundation to make the evidence reliable and worthy of being admitted, in other words, the forensic evidence is inadmissible because it is based on "junk science".

Over the years, there have been several types of forensic evidence that have been rejected by the courts in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada, including voice print identification, comparative bullet lead analysis and several indicators of arson dependent on visual cues.

Likewise, there are various other types of forensic evidence which are possibly unreliable, such as microscopic hair comparison, and "pattern comparison" evidence such as bite marks, tire marks and handwriting.

Even in cases where the forensic evidence is ruled admissible, the defence can still try to weaken the impact of the evidence by arguing, for example, that the results of the forensic testing were the subject of "motivated perception". In other words, the scientist who did the testing interpreted the results so as to support his or her expectations or the expectations of the police or Crown prosecutors. The defence can argue, or call evidence to show, that the forensic examiner should have first tested the evidence blindly without knowing anything about the case in order to avoid a subconscious bias. Studies have shown that even the opinion of fingerprint analysts can be affected by the analysts' preconceived notions about the case. Also, there is always a risk of a false positive. Moreover, if the laboratory that completed the testing, such as the Centre of Forensic Sciences, is known to have made errors on occasion in the past, the defence can argue that the error rates should also be entered in evidence.

In appropriate cases, and where funds permit, the evidence can be re-tested by an independent laboratory for verification.

A good defence lawyer should know the weaknesses of specific scientific techniques or seek out an appropriate defence consulting expert to learn about and present evidence regarding those weaknesses.

Pre-Trial Charter Applications

Often, the best defence to a criminal charge involves a challenge to the investigation that resulted in the arrest of the accused or the collection of evidence against the accused. The police are not allowed to breach the rights that are guaranteed to the accused by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

I will investigate any possible Charter breaches by carefully reviewing the Crown disclosure documents, including the documents used by the police to obtain search warrants for the home, car or other property of the accused, and the documents used by the police to obtain production orders, such as for cell phone records and wiretap authorizations.

If I detect any violation of the Charter rights of the accused or violation of acceptable investigative procedures established by the courts, I will proceed with an application asking for the exclusion of evidence from the trial of the accused obtained illegally by the police, including the statements of the accused and other evidence seized during the investigation.

I have an established reputation for success in pre-trial applications. Winning a Charter application will result in the exclusion of evidence if the court determines that not excluding the evidence will bring the administration of justice into disrepute. The exclusion of evidence often results in a finding of not guilty if the Crown's remaining evidence is insufficient to prove that the accused committed the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.

I have the necessary experience, research skills, writing skills, and advocacy skills to prepare and effectively argue pre-trial Charter applications. The value of legal writing skills cannot be overstated since proceeding with pre-trial Charter applications will require the preparation of several documents including a Notice of Application, an Affidavit, and a Factum setting out the relevant facts and summarizing the relevant case law.

Electing to Have a Preliminary Inquiry

In cases in which a Defendant is exposed to a possible period of 14 years in jail or more, the Defendant will have the right to proceed with a preliminary inquiry in the Ontario Court of Justice and then a trial in the Superior Court of Justice before a court composed of a Judge sitting with a jury or without a jury. In the past, this level of court was referred to as "High Court".

The completion of a preliminary inquiry is not mandatory. The Defendant has the right to waive the preliminary inquiry and to proceed directly to trial in either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice. If the trial is to be completed in the Superior Court of Justice, the waiver of the preliminary inquiry will require the consent of the Crown.

At a preliminary inquiry, the Crown is required to call some evidence upon which a properly instructed jury, acting reasonably, may return a verdict of guilt. This is an easy test for the Crown to meet in the vast majority of cases. Accordingly, it is relatively rare for someone who proceeds with a preliminary inquiry to be discharged with respect to all of the charges which he or she is facing. The real value in having a preliminary inquiry is not in the hope of being entirely discharged, thereby bringing the entire criminal proceedings to an end, but in being able to better prepare the case for trial. The defence lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine and test the evidence of the primary Crown witnesses. An experienced and skilled defence lawyer can discover the strengths and weaknesses of the Crown witnesses and commence building an effective defence strategy. A preliminary inquiry is especially valuable for the defence in cases involving young, infirm, unreliable or unsavory Crown witnesses.

Call Defence Lawyer Anthony De Marco for a Free Consultation

Contact my Toronto, Ontario, office today to discuss your drug or controlled substance trafficking case. I offer a free 30-minute consultation. For your convenience, I offer reasonable payment plans. I also accept Legal Aid in most cases. You can reach me by phone at (416) 651-2299 or toll free at 1-888-399-3164 or by e-mail.

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