The courts view all drug offences from simple possession to trafficking as serious matters. In Ottawa, an entire day once per week is dedicated to drug prosecutions. For simple possession charges on first time offenders, the starting Crown position is typically a suspended sentence. This means that upon conviction, the accused would have a criminal record. Despite the starting Crown position, with proper preparation and adequate collaterals, we are often able to spare the offender a criminal record. With more serious offences, such as trafficking, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the penalties are stiff. In fact, the Ontario Court of Appeal has held that the appropriate range for a first time drug trafficker is between 6 months and 2 years of jail. Despite this starting position, there are avenues that can be pursued to reduce or mitigate sentence. Often the Crown case rests upon illegal actions by the Police, such as an illegal search or unlawful detention. While these Charter breaches may or may not lead to exclusion of the evidence, they are often useful as leverage in plea discussions. Failing that, a Charter motion can be filed and the issue decided by the Court. Below are a sampling of drug offence cases that Mr. Lewandowski has dealt with.