Drug offences take many forms. Whether you are being charged with minor possession for personal use or you are being charged with intent to supply a large quantity of drugs - we can help you!
Our criminal defence team will work hard to secure you the best possible outcome. We have extensive experience in defending drug-related cases and represent clients throughout Scotland. Don’t hesitate to call us for advice today.
What are the classes of drugs?
Drugs are put into classes A, B or C, depending on how dangerous they are and how much harm they can cause.
- Class A drugs are treated as the most dangerous and include cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.
- Class B drugs include cannabis, ketamine and amphetamines; (also known as speed.)
- Class C drugs include benzodiazepines such as diazepam and valium.
Can the police search me for drugs?
The police have the power to stop and search you - if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are in possession of a controlled drug. The penalty for being caught possessing controlled drugs depends on the class and quantity of the drug.
What is possession?
Possession within the meaning of the law is having drugs on your person or any item you own, e.g., in your pocket, bag or your car, even if the drugs do not belong to you.
What defences are available for possession of drugs?
There are several defences available to you if you have been charged with possession of a controlled drug. You must be able to successfully argue one of the following:
- You didn’t know or suspect that you were in possession of a controlled drug,
- You did not know that the substance in your possession was a controlled one, or
- You believed you legally possessed a controlled drug, but unbeknownst to yourself, the drug turned out to be another substance, which you did not have a license or prescription to possess.
How do I prove one of these defences?
It is your solicitor's job to present evidence that will help you successfully argue one of the defences. So, it is important that you acquire the assistance of an experienced criminal defence solicitor as soon as you are charged with an offence.
What is the maximum sentence for possession of drugs?
The maximum prison sentence for possession of a Class A drug is 7 years. For Class B drugs the maximum sentence is 5 years and for Class C drugs the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.
Can I possess drugs for personal use?
No. Possession of controlled drugs even for personal use is illegal without a license or prescription, which is not common to obtain in the UK.
What are the consequences for possession for personal use?
The consequences of possessing drugs, even for personal use, can be severe depending on the class and quality of the drugs. Possession of Class A drugs, in particular, can result in a jail sentence.
Recently, Police Scotland has dealt with those found to have drugs for personal use differently; by handing out fines and warnings. However, this will depend on the circumstances, so it is important to contact a solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
How do I prove the drugs were for personal use?
It is your solicitor's job to argue your defence, so you should seek a solicitor with previous experience in this area of law. The team here at MJS are widely recognised as one of Scotland’s best in criminal defence."
What counts as supplying drugs?
Selling, sharing or giving a controlled drug to someone, even a friend, is classed as supplying. This is the case even if you did not make any money.
Supplying drugs is a more serious offence than possessing them for personal use, and the consequences are more severe.
What defences are available for supplying drugs?
If you have been charged with possession and intent to supply drugs, you may be able to rely on the defence that the drugs were for personal use.
What evidence can be used against me?
The Court will present any evidence that supports their argument that you intended to supply drugs. They may highlight that you possessed a large quantity of drugs, a variety of drugs or that you possessed drug-related equipment like weighing scales, plastic bags or wraps.
What is the maximum sentence for supplying drugs?
If you are charged with supplying, producing or importing a Class A drug, you could get a life sentence. Supplying Class B drugs could result in up to 14 years in prison and supplying Class C drugs could mean you face up to 14 years in prison.
Drug Defence Lawyers in Scotland
Due to the consequences a drug charge can have on your professional and personal life, we advise you to contact us without delay.
Our team of solicitors can assist you from your first police interview to representing you in court. We offer a free consultation and can help you discuss your options confidentially. Call our criminal defence solicitors in Dunfermline on 01383 730 466 in Kirkcaldy on 01592 640 680 or in Alloa on 01259 725 922 or make an online enquiry.