The Changing Landscape of Calgary's Drug Laws and Your Defence: Part 2

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The second half of a Calgary defence lawyer's words of wisdom concerning Calgary's drug laws and the legal environment.

In Part 1 of this article, you learned that drug laws and drug-related crimes are still very much a priority for the Calgary Police, Calgary's Crown prosecutors, and other law enforcement and criminal justice officers.

You also learned this Calgary defence lawyer's three top tips when it comes to protecting your rights and interests: understand that drug crimes are still viewed as very serious and that marijuana legalization comes with limits; know that impaired driving or "DUI" laws make driving while intoxicated by any substance, legal or otherwise, a crime; and respect the fact that a drug conviction can lead to serious jail time, not just a slap on the wrist.

Here are three more things you should know about Calgary's drug laws and your defence.

4. Your Friend's Drugs Can Land You in Trouble with Calgary Police
Say your friend puts a backpack in your car, and inside the backpack are illegal drugs. If you're pulled over and a Calgary Police or RCMP officer believes they have reasonable cause to search your car, the drugs they find in that backpack can lead to you being charged with possession of an illegal substance, even if you had no idea the drugs were there.

Every case is unique, and it's impossible to say what would happen in every circumstance, but this scenario has played out before and people have gone to jail for it. So be warned—and make sure you know who's getting into your vehicle.

5. Calgary's Drug Court May Be an Option for Your Defence
If you have a drug addiction or substance abuse problem, you may be able to take advantage of Calgary's Drug Court to get the help you need and avoid many of the penalties that typically come with a drug-related conviction.

Drug Court is a tough program that requires regular drug tests, attendance at educational courses, regular court appearances, and enrollment in an addiction rehabilitation program—this isn't a "get out of jail free" card. For those with a serious dependency problem, however, it can be a good alternative. Your Calgary defence lawyer can help you determine if Drug Court is a good option for you, and can help you work with Crown prosecutors and the judge in your case to potentially get enrolled in the program.

6. You ALWAYS Have the Right to Consult with a Calgary Defence Lawyer
Whether or not you feel that trying to get enrolled in Drug Court is the right course for you, you have the right to consult and work with an experienced Calgary defence lawyer when you've been charged with any drug-related crime in Calgary, or any crime at all, for that matter. With law enforcement and Crown prosecutors working against you, and working with laws and a criminal justice system they know inside and out, it's only fair that you have a knowledgeable advocate by your side.

For a free initial consultation with one of Calgary's most dedicated drug defence lawyers, please contact my office today.

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