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Arrested for Drug Possession

Arrested for Drug Possession

SKU: 8.22
  • Advice

    We would never suggest that you discuss anything other than confirming your name and address with the police. If they can twist your words to get a conviction, whether it was accurate or not, the resultant conviction and potential court case could be devastating to you and your family. Instead, simply ask for legal representation, they cannot continue to ask you questions until your representative is present.


    When are you in Possession of a drug?

    A person is said to be in possession of a drug when they know that they are carrying it. For example, if you borrow your friend’s car and the vehicle is stopped by the police and they find out drugs that had been concealed within the car then you are innocent and cannot be prosecuted for being in possession. 


    Categorization of Drugs

    The Police need to check whether the drugs that are found in your possession fall within the category of a "Controlled Drug". Only in situations wherein you are found in possession of such controlled drugs shall you be held liable for the offence of Drug Possession.


    What is a Controlled Drug?

    A controlled drug is a type of drug or substance that due to its nature of causing harmful health effects or potential addiction amongst people. The control on such substances is exercised via controlling the procedure of its making, its usage, handling, distribution, storage etc. Such drugs may also include steroids, opium, depressants etc.


    These are certain prohibited drugs that are being used for non-medical purposes unlawfully. These are: -

    • Class A
    • Class B or
    • Class C drugs.


    These drugs have been listed within PART 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Some examples of these drugs include cocaine, heroin, LSD etc. To determine where the drug lies you should simply look it up on (


    Elements of Possession

    To have possession of a drug the following essentials must take place:

    • There must be actual physical possession of the drug;
    • There is an intention or power to control the use of such drugs;
    • The person knew they were carrying the drugs; and
    • Such drugs fall within the category of controlled drugs.


    When are you Liable

    For the commission of a crime, the law says that there must be a guilty mind along with the physical conduct of committing a criminal act. This in simple words means you knew that it was illegal but did it anyway (without the use of force).


    Defence – No existing knowledge.

    This defence applies when someone takes drugs off someone else to stop them from taking or selling them and they were planning on destroying them or handing them to the police. For example. If a mother snatches a bag of drugs from her son so that he does not take them and hands them in at her local police station then she would not be held liable for the possession as the drugs were removed solely to deliver such drugs to the police. Similarly, if someone finds a bag of drugs and takes it to the police station they would not be charged. The same principle would apply when a police officer seizes a bag of drugs, technically they would be in “possession” but the same caveat would apply.


    Defence - Ignorance

    You cannot be held liable for the offence of possession of drugs if you did not suspect or know that you had them. You cannot be blamed for something you did not know about, here, unlike in general law “ignorance is a defence”. For instance, if you hired a car and the previous renter had left some drugs in the glove box , or you were loaned a coat because of the cold and the police find drugs in the pocket.


    What to do if accused

    If you are accused of the crime of drug possession you must be aware of your legal rights as an accused. If you genuinely did not know, or could reasonably have been expected to know that the drugs were there then feel free to explain this to the officers, they may see you’re your point. If, however you are arrested then you should not feel compelled to help the police obtain a nice quick conviction.


    In such situations, you have a right to inform someone of your arrest. More importantly, you have a right to access free independent legal services when you request them. If this is ever in doubt, inform the police officer that you are allowed help under Section 58(1) of the Police and Crime Evidence Act 1984. Moreover, if you are eventually interviewed in the absence of legal services, you should remember that you do not have to answer the questions put to you. You can simply choose to stay silent. It is worth noting that once you request legal representation, you cannot be interviewed until you have access to suitable representation. Also, if you are already being interviewed after indicating that you did not require legal advice, once you request for it, even during the interview, the police will have to postpone the interview until you have been given the advice.


    Whilst in custody you have the right to legal advice, to tell someone where you are, to get medical help and to see a copy of the rules the Police must follow (Codes of Practice).


    After being arrested we would strongly advise you to simply confirm your details and not rise to any of their quips or questions which are designed to solicit an admission of guilt, hence making their quest for a conviction a lot easier, instead simply state that you will not answer any questions until you have received legal guidance. Remember, simply saying “sorry” is classed as an admission of guilt, if you give an investigating officer the slightest chance, they will exploit it to the maximum.


    If you cannot afford legal representation, you will be offered free and independent legal advice, however, you should not assume that the duty solicitor appointed for you will keep your details private, after all, they have the same paymaster and the solicitor will be extremely familiar (and thereby friendly) with the police officers and not want to cause them any inconvenience. In our opinion, this creates a dangerous situation as regards legal confidentiality. Our representatives are totally independent and would not disclose any part of your conversation with them to the police.


    How we can help

    We would be delighted to assist you in this matter and if instructed your caseworker would ask to speak with you privately to compile a brief for a solicitor, we may need to appoint one to visit you in person and their fees may exceed our standard costs, your caseworker will discuss this with you. The solicitor will guide you through all aspects of the arrest and unlike duty solicitors will frustrate the police by not disclosing details that would help them convict you. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact.

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