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Drug Offences Penalties

If you’ve been accused of a drug-related offence then there are a few different factors which could affect the severity of your possible punishment. Whilst being under investigation can put intense pressure on you and your family, it’s worth taking the time to find out more about the details of your alleged offence; including possible penalties for different classifications and the purpose of possession.

Drug Law Offences

According to The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 the following constitute to an offence:

–          Unlawful possession of a controlled (illegal) substance.

–          Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to supply.

–          Supplying or offering to supply an illegal substance for a fee or free of charge.

–          Permitting owned/managed premises to be used for the growth/production of controlled substances.

–          Permitting owned/managed premises to be used for the consumption of illegal drugs (smoking cannabis or opium).

–          Importing/exporting controlled drugs and trafficking.

If you’ve been charged with intending to supply illegal drugs, your possible punishment will be more severe than if you were caught in possession of illegal drugs (with no intent to supply). The severity of your punishment will also depend on the classification of the drug(s) related to your offence.

Drug Classifications

Illegal drugs are classified under the letters A, B and C with Class A drugs being the most dangerous substances carrying the most severe punishments when caught in possession or possession with intent to supply. The table below outlines the drug classifications and separates the punishments according to possession and intent to supply.

Classification Substances under classification Maximum for possession Maximum penalty for Dealing/Supplying
Class A Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, Crack, Cocaine, Magic Mushrooms, Amphetamines (for injecting) 7 years imprisonment/unlimited fine. Life imprisonment/unlimited fine.
Class B Pholcodine, Methylphenidate, Cannabis, Amphetamines Five years imprisonment/unlimited fine. 14 years imprisonment/unlimited fine.
Class C Ketamine, Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate acid (GHB), tranquilisers, certain painkillers. Two years imprisonment/unlimited fine. 14 years imprisonment/unlimited fine.

Temporary Drug Classifications

In some instances, new psychoactive substances which cause health concerns may be subjected to a temporary drug classification. This may be the case if a new substance which is currently legal (known as legal highs) is being widely used and raising concerns. Temporary drug classifications empower the Government to make a drug illegal whilst under review, imposing maximum penalties of up to 14 years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine.

If you’re caught in possession or dealing drugs under Temporary Classifications, this will be dealt with in the same manner as classified illegal substances.

What to do if you’ve been accused of a drug offence

If you’ve been accused of a drug offence, whether it’s possession of a Class C drug or the importation of Class A drugs, it’s highly recommended that you contact a drug offences solicitor who can support and defend you from the police interview to the Jury’s verdict.

Here at Gray and Co Solicitor we have specialist solicitors with extensive experience of dealing with drug offences. We support you from the initial police interview and throughout your trial. To speak to one of our sensitive team then call us on 01244 344299 or click the link below to use our online contact form:

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