You have been charged with DRUG OFFENCES what does this mean?
The principal offences relating to the misuse of controlled drugs are contained in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. There are three classes of controlled drugs:
Class A Include:
- Crystal Meth
- Magic Mushrooms
- Injected Amphetamines
Class B Include:
- Synthetic Cannabinoids
Class C Include:
- Anabolic Steroids
- Benzodiazepines (diazepam)
- Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
- Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL)
- Piperazines (BZP)
Being Charged With Possession Of Drugs
You may be charged with possessing an illegal substance if you’re caught with drugs, whether they are yours or not. If you are under 18, the police are allowed to tell your parent, guardian or carer that you have been caught with drugs.
The penalty you receive will depend on:
- The class and quantity of drug
- Where you and the drugs were found
- Your personal history (previous crimes, including any previous drug offences)
- Other aggravating or mitigating factors
Class A: Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both for Possession.
Class B: Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both for Possession.
Class C: Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both (except anabolic steroids - it’s not an offence to possess them for personal use)
Being Charged With The Dealing or Supplying Drugs
The penalty is likely to be more severe if you are found to be supplying or dealing drugs. Sharing drugs is also considered supplying.
The police will probably charge you if they suspect you of supplying drugs. The amount of drugs found and whether you have a criminal record will affect your penalty.
You can get a fine or prison sentence if you take, carry, make or sell drugs or psychoactive substances.
Class A: Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both for Supply & Production.
Class B: Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both for Supply & Production.
Class C: Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both for Supply & Production.
What Are Temporary Class Drugs & Temporary Class Drug Orders?
A Temporary Class Drug is a relatively new status for controlled drugs to attempt to bring newly synthesised designer drugs such as Legal Highs under legal control.
Legal High’s are substances designed to produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, but are structurally different enough to avoid being controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
This means the Home Secretary can place any new psychoactive substance (chemical substances that change a person's mental state) under temporary control by invoking a temporary class drug order if it is causing sufficient concern about its potential harms.
Ie the drug is not already controlled under the current Act (as a Class A, B or C) and the drug is being/likely to be misused and is having/capable of having harmful effects.
Offences committed in relation to importation, production and supply of a temporary class drug are subject to the following maximum penalties:
- 14 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine on indictment, and
- 6 months’ imprisonment and a £5,000 fine on summary conviction.
Simple possession of a temporary class drug is not an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
I Am A First Time Offender Charged With A Drugs Offence – What Will Happen?
If you have been caught with drugs that are for your personal use and not to be sold or given to friends then you are likely to face charges of possession. The seriousness will depend on what class of drug it is (A, B or C) and other factors, such as the amount you are in possession of and whether you have any previous convictions.
If it is only a small amount for personal use then sentencing guidelines suggest you will most likely only get a formal caution. Although a caution isn’t a conviction, it will stay on your criminal record forever and will appear on any DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check that is carried out on you. It is dealt with at the Police Station and not the courts.
If the Police do charge you and it is your first offence, the court may give you an absolute or conditional discharge, which means you will not go to prison, but will still have a permanent criminal record and will appear on any DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check that is carried out on you.
If you have been charged with a DRUGS OFFENCE then contact NOBLE SOLICITORS as soon as possible who will refer you to one of our specialist Criminal Solicitors that will guide you through your rights in this situation.
Noble Solicitors – Fighting For You - Always Protecting Your Rights.
Noble Solicitors – Fighting For You
Always Protecting Your Rights.
07000 81 82 83