Drug Offences

Tranters frequently act in drug cases that involve the sale, supply, production, cultivation, and importation of drugs. We also represent clients during proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, whereby the prosecution seek to recover any financial benefit illegally obtained from those convicted of drugs offences.

Sentencing for drug offences has become increasingly harsh in recent years, with the Government’s desire to employ criminal prosecution as the ultimate deterrent seeing even minor level involvement in drugs risk the potential of a lengthy prison sentence. Therefore, it is essential to get expert advice from a solicitor as early as possible in the defence of a drugs investigation. For skilled and proficient legal advice from the police interview stage – Call 0161 998 9999 or Email: info@tranters.co.uk

Drugs are categorised into three main classifications, A, B and C, with class A constituting the most serious:

  • Class A Drugs include Cocaine, Ecstasy and Heroin
  • Class B Drugs include Cannabis and Amphetamines, such as Speed
  • Class C Drugs include Steroids and Tranquilisers, such as Ketamine

Possession of a controlled drug

Possession of a controlled drug is an either way offence. The maximum penalty depends on both the trial venue and the class of drugs.

Magistrates’ Court

  • Class A drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: £2500 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: £1000 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Class A drug: Unlimited fine and/or 7 years’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: Unlimited fine and/or 5 years’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: Unlimited fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment

Possession with Intent to Supply

Possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply it is an either way offence. The maximum penalty depends on both the trial venue and the class of drug.

Magistrates’ court:

  • Class A drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: £2500 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Class A drug: Unlimited fine and/or life imprisonment
  • Class B drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment

Supplying Controlled Drugs

Supplying a controlled drug is an either way offence. The maximum penalty depends on both the trial venue and the class of drug.

Magistrates’ court:

  • Class A drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: £2500 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Class A drug: Unlimited fine and/or life imprisonment
  • Class B drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment

Importation or Exportation of Drugs Supplying Controlled Drugs

Importing or exporting a controlled drug is an either way offence. The maximum penalties are set out in Schedule 1 of CEMA 1979.

Producing Controlled Drugs/Cultivating Cannabis

Producing a controlled drug and cultivating cannabis are either way offences. The maximum penalty depends on both the trial venue and the class of drug.

Magistrates’ court:

  • Class A drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: £2500 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Class A drug: Unlimited fine and/or life imprisonment
  • Class B drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment

(The penalties for cultivating cannabis under s.6 of the Act are identical to those shown above for producing a Class B controlled drug.)

Occupier Offences

Occupier offences are either way offences. The maximum penalty depends on both the trial venue and the class of drug.

Magistrates’ court:

  • Class A drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: £2500 fine and/or 3 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Class A drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment
  • Class B drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment
  • Class C drug: Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment

Opium related offences

Opium related offences are triable either way. The maximum penalties are as follows:

Magistrates’ court:

  • £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment

Crown Court:

  • Unlimited fine and/or 14 years’ imprisonment

S.9A Offences

Offences under s.9A are summary only. The maximum penalty is as follows:

Magistrates’ court:

  • £5000 fine and/or 6 months’ imprisonment

Obstruction Offences

Obstruction offences under the Act are either way offences. The maximum penalties are as follows:

Magistrates’ court:

  • £5000 fine and/or 6 imprisonment

Crown Court

  • Unlimited fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment

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