The law - drug offences
In order to secure a conviction for possession with intent to supply, the prosecution needs to satisfy, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:
1. The defendant was in possession of a controlled drug; and
2. The defendant intended to supply the drugs to another.
Drugs are deemed controlled drugs if they are specified as being of class A, B or C as set out in Parts I, II or III of Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This will require forensic evidence which can potentially be challenged by our own experts.
The second element requires an intention to supply the controlled drug to another. It is important to note that the criminal act is in the intent of an individual, the prosecution do not need to prove that an individual has physically supplied the drugs to another.
The prosecution will seek to prove an intention to supply by direct evidence through surveillance, telephone evidence, witness testimony or through admission. However, an intention to supply can also be inferred through an individual being in possession of a quantity of controlled drugs which is inconsistent with personal use or through an individual being in possession of drug related equipment to the level which would indicate supply. This is not an exhaustive list and evidence in these cases must be assessed to establish if it can be challenged as this could help form the basis of a defence which you can put forward.
If the prosecution are unable to satisfy the second element of intent, you will not be found guilty of being in possession of drugs with an intent to supply, but simply with being in possession of a controlled drug which is a much less serious offence.
Sentence - drug offences
The maximum sentence which can be imposed for this offence is life imprisonment for class A drugs and 14 years for class B and C drugs. A variety of factors impact the sentence imposed which includes, but is not limited to, the class of drug, your role and the amount of the drugs involved. It is important that an individual is represented to mitigate their position as sentencing for this offence is fluid.
Should you be convicted of the offence, it is likely that an application will be made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover any benefit you gained as a result of the criminal conduct. It is extremely important that you are represented throughout this process as this can have serious financial implications.
How Stephensons can help
If you have been charged with an offence, your case will be handed by one of the partners or senior associate solicitors in our specialist criminal defence team. Our team is recommended in tier one of the Legal 500 and will provide you with clear advice and expert representation throughout the course of the proceedings. We appreciate that this will be a daunting time for you and your family and we will ensure that you are fully supported throughout this process.
If you require immediate representation we have expert police station representatives available 24 hours a day all year round. If you require emergency assistance outside of normal working hours, please contact 07836 574 607.
Otherwise please contact the office on 01616 966 229 or complete one of our online enquiry forms and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.