Andrew Captan is a Toronto Criminal Lawyer with experience in defending persons charged with Drug Offences, including Drug Possession.
Drug charges are found under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Drug Possession is one of the four drug-related acts that is criminalized in Canada; the other three include Trafficking, Production and Importation.
For an individual to be found guilty of Drug Possession, the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person “possessed” a controlled substance, such as marijuana, cocaine or heroin.
“Possession” takes on a complex meaning in criminal law, and is defined under s. 4(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada to include:
“(a) a person has anything in possession when he has it in his personal possession knowingly; or
(i) has it in the actual possesison or custody of another person, or
(ii) has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to or is occupied by him, for the use or benefit of himself or of another person; and
(b) where one of two or more persons, with the knowledge and consent of the rest, has anything in his custody or possession it shall be deemed to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them.”
In short, there can be “actual possession”, “constructive possession” and “joint possession”.
Defences to Drug Possession charges often surround whether the accused “possessed” a controlled substance pursuant to one of these forms of possession.