All Charges Withdrawn: Possession of cocaine and marihuana for the purpose of traffickin

When someone is charged with "simple" possession of cocaine or marihuana, the presumption is that the drug is possessed for personal use. This is still illegal under the current regime of drug prohibition, and such offences are routinely prosecuted and may result in a jail sentence. Matters are far more serious, however, when a person is charged with possessing a drug "for the purpose of trafficking"  to other people. The range of jail sentences is far higher, and a custodial sentence of some kind is often seen by the courts as the very minimum for a charge of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. This makes it all the more important for every possible defence to be explored in order to avoid a finding of guilt. The client in this case was charged with possessing both marihuana and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

The Crown must prove possession of the drugs in question, as well as the fact that they were possessed "for the purpose of trafficking". This often involves calling some sort of expert to testify that the amount of the drug possessed was not consistent with personal use -- basically, that the accused had so much of the drugs that he or she must have intended to distribute it to others. But again, the Crown must prove actual possession of the drugs before even getting to that stage.

The circumstances of this case involved drugs being found inside a car that was being driven by the client. The alleged drugs were discovered as a result of a constitutionally questionable vehicle stop by the police. The matter was set for a preliminary hearing (a precursor to a trial by judge and jury in Superior Court). As a result of intensive discussions with the prosecution in the days leading up to the preliminary hearing, the Crown decided to withdraw all charges against the client on the first day of the preliminary hearing. Free from the short-term threat of jail or the long-term effects of a criminal record, the client is now free to concentrate on continuing to pursue her educational and professional goals.