Drugs cases require a specialist approach
Drugs cases are different to general crime in one major way. They are all about being in possession or control of a substance, but not necessarily of actually doing something physical like assaulting a person or damaging something. This means that in a drugs case the prosecution has to show a chain of evidence linking the accused person to knowing involvement or contact with drugs or money.
A specialist lawyer will immediately spot which parts of the chain may be weak and attack them. By the time the prosecution realises, it is often too late and the client may be found not guilty.
The consequences if you are convicted in a drugs case:
- Prison – This is less likely for possession for personal use, but is much more likely for any case involving supply or production. Sentences of three to five years or more are common if someone is convicted for dealing commercially, or being involved in a professional operation. Where somebody is judged to have been in a leading role, sentences of ten or more years may be possible.
Convictions for large scale heroin and cocaine conspiracy can mean the longest prison sentences of ten years or more, although even cannabis can mean a long sentence if it is a very large amount or big operation. Cases involving commercial production or importation can mean long prison sentences if convicted. Even a ‘drug mule’ could be sentenced to four or more years.
- Employment prospects – Drugs offences will show on a basic CRB (now called a DBS) check for a number of years, depending on whether it was a caution or conviction. A Standard or Enhanced DBS check (required for most professional job applications) will normally show personal possession drugs convictions for 6 years for cautions, or 11 years for convictions. Any other drugs convictions are usually lifelong for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check.