helping law enforcement protect the community

Do you know what is being done in your community to protect the citizens from crime? Do you have a crime-watch program? Is there a community website that lists the current investigations and events that may have recently occurred? Law enforcement officials can only do so much when it comes to protecting a community. If your community is not active in protecting itself, crime rates could rise and many residents could find themselves the target or victim of crimes. Visit my blog to find out what you can do as a community to lower crime rates and help the law enforcement officials do their jobs.

The Sale Or Traffic Of Illegal Drugs In BC: What The Crown Needs To Prove And The Factors That Prove It

Law Articles

Substance abuse has become a growing concern in Canada with over 45% of Canadians reported to have used an illicit drug in 2004. As a result, stricter laws have been enacted for the sale or traffic of controlled substances and illegal drugs with those convicted facing maximum indictment penalties from 3 years to lifetime imprisonment depending on whether the drugs are classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV. If you have been charged with the sale or traffic of controlled substances or illegal drugs, here's what the Crown needs to prove.

What Does the Crown Have to Prove?

If you have been charged with possession for the intent to sale or traffic pharmaceuticals, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The Crown must prove several elements for a conviction. These elements include evidence to prove that:

  • The drug found in your Crown has been classified as a controlled substance;
  • You were in 'full' possession of the drug, which means that you knew that the drug was a controlled substance and you had control over it; and
  • You had the intention of distributing the drug and making it available to others, which includes selling, giving, administering or transporting the drug.

What Type of Factors Does the Crown Use to Determine Whether Possession Is For the Purpose of Trafficking?

The line between being in possession of a controlled substance or an illegal drug and the sale or traffic of a controlled substance or an illegal drug is quite blurry. It is the Crown's responsibility to determine whether you were simply found to be in possession of the drugs, which has penalties that are less severe, or had the intention to sell or traffic the drugs. The following factors are commonly brought up in court:

  • The quantity of the drugs that are involved or their value. Obviously, if only small quantities of illegal drugs were found on your person, you can easily argue that the drugs are for personal use, and that you did not have any intention to sell or distribute the drugs.
  • The amount of money found on your person and the denominators that have been found. Although this may not necessarily be concrete proof, it can provide the court with some insight regarding whether any drugs have been sold.
  • Whether the drugs have been packaged separately. Large amount of drugs that have been pre-packaged into smaller quantities can generally sway the court that there was an intention to distribute.
  • Whether you have any known associations to convicted drug traffickers or whether you have been previously convicted for similar charges.
  • The credibility of any witnesses that the defence may call to the stand.
  • The type(s) of illegal drugs that were found on your person.
  • Any statements that you were made during your arrest.
  • Any additional factors that may be relevant to your case. For example, the court may look at whether you were with anyone else at the moment of your arrest and any events that may have led to your arrest.

An experienced criminal lawyer will review the evidence and other additional reading that the Crown has collected against you to determine the strength of their case, whether the Crown has sufficient evidence to charge you and what steps you should take next.


Fighting a criminal charge that has been made against you can be difficult and a rather lengthy process. Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you can help ensure that none of your rights have been violated and that a strong defence is built against the charges that have been laid. A possession with the intention to sell or traffic charge should not be taken lightly, especially considering the severe penalties and consequences that the convicted face. 


16 June 2015