Drug Charges and Your Rights Under Calgary Law: A Defence Lawyer's Reminder: Part 1

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A dedicated Calgary defence lawyer reminds you: you still have rights when you've been charged with a drug-related crime!


Every day, hundreds of people in the Greater Calgary Area are arrested and charged with a crime. Many of the charges laid in Calgary are for alleged drug-related offences, from simple possession to trafficking and manufacturing controlled substances. Marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and prescription painkillers like oxycontin, vicodin, and fentanyl can and do all lead to drug-related arrests and charges every day, and despite what you may have read the legal environment surrounding most drugs isn't changing any time soon.

You should also keep in mind that it's very easy to find yourself charged with a drug-related offence, even if you don't use or possess drugs. If a friend or family member transports drugs in your car or brings them into your home, even if you're unaware of it, you can find yourself facing a criminal charge. The Calgary Police and other area law enforcement agencies aren't likely to listen to any explanations, either—that's what your defence and, if necessary, your trial will be for.

But just because it's easy for you to find yourself charged with a drug-related crime, and hard for you to get the Calgary Police to listen, doesn't mean you're at the mercy of the criminal justice system. You still have rights under the law—rights that help you defend yourself against criminal charges, including drug charges, putting them behind you as quickly and completely as possible.

You Have the Right Not to Talk to the Calgary Police

Under the law, officers with the Calgary Police and the RCMP can require you to provide some basic identifying information, but beyond that you do not have to answer questions or give a statement to law enforcement before you consult with an experienced Calgary defence lawyer. In fact, if you've been arrested, the law requires that you be given the opportunity to contact a defence lawyer of your choosing as soon as is practically possible.

Whatever Calgary Police or RCMP put in front of you as "evidence," and no matter what they say they're charging you with or what penalties you might face, you have the right to consult with a lawyer and to have a lawyer present before you offer any explanations or answer any questions—and you can choose not to answer questions at all, if that's what you and your defence lawyer decide is best.

In almost every situation, there is nothing you can say to law enforcement at the outset of your case that can help your defence. There is plenty you can say that might hurt your defence, however, which is why any experienced Calgary defence lawyer is likely to tell you to keep quiet.

Contact a Dedicated Defence Lawyer in Calgary Today

Your rights don't end with staying silent. Read Part 2 of this article for more information on your rights and how to protect them when you've been charged with a drug-related crime, or contact my office today for a free consultation with a dedicated Calgary defence lawyer.

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