Sam Stein QC
“Get a top criminal barrister on your side from day 1”
Drugs offences that a person can be tried for range dramatically, and so too do the potential sentences that may be handed out. The possession of a small amount of a class B or class C drug may lead to a minimal fine, while the cultivation or production of class A drugs, or the trafficking of drugs can carry very long prison sentences. There are many factors which will ultimately determine the sentence that a person receives.
There are three classes of drugs. While heroine and cocaine are considered class A, prescription drugs such as Ketamine are class C. Cannabis is a class B drug, and while this is a higher class than it once was, class B and class C offences carry similar penalties and sentences. All offences will usually carry higher sentences when they involve a class A drug when compared to those that include B or C drugs.
The possession of any drug, without the appropriate prescription or requirement, is illegal, so any amount of any type of drug may lead to criminal prosecution, although smaller quantities of drugs like cannabis are normally dealt with through the issuance of a police caution. Larger quantities, and the intention to supply the drug, however, can mean that the offence is greater and the potential sentence worse.
Intent to supply does not necessarily mean that you intend to sell the drug. Even supplying drugs to a friend or friends, and even if no money changes hands, can lead to a charge of possession with intent to supply and this carries heavier penalties than a simple possession charge. Beyond this, the cultivation or production of drugs are taken very seriously and carry considerable maximum penalties, although your level of involvement will ultimately determine how severe the penalty you receive will be.
Drugs offences are widely varied in the actual type of offence, and in the possible sentence that may be handed out. Some drug offences may also mean that your cash and assets are frozen under the Proceeds Of Crime Act, so you should ensure that you have an experienced legal team working on your case as early in the process as possible.
R v Carden Successful defence of first defendant in money laundering and drug supply allegations involving analysis of the Defendant’s business interests and cash flow over a period of about 5 years.
R –v- Crocker – Successfully represented first defendant in extensive money laundering allegations covering 7 years of a building firms operation and financial analysts evidence which was the subject of detailed cross-examination by Sam leading to the successful half time submission. Court of Appeal denied the Crown’s application to challenge the Judge’s decision.
R –v- Evans – Money laundering and drugs smuggling case involving the importation of substantial quantities of cocaine concealed in a specially adapted vehicle.
R-v- S Operation Zambezi – First on indictment, multi-handed attempted murder, money laundering, firearms, cocaine and cannabis conspiracy with voluminous Queen’s Evidence – 107 page statement following 80+ interviews of QE Witness. Legal submissions resulting both in the exclusion of background violence and in the finding of an implicit waiver of privilege over solicitor’s material on the part of the QE Witness. This matter is the subject of an ongoing appeal.
R -v- Zachariah – Multi-Million Pound Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracy, argued disclosure and RIPA points relating to 7 months of recorded material equaling thousands of pages of transcripts.
R -v- N – Representing Chairman of Aston Rothbury Co Ltd on allegations of laundering the proceeds of frauds on UK clearing banks.
R -v- Dixon & Others – Conspiracy to Supply Class A and money laundering– Ipswich Crown Court – successful plea bargain negotiated.
R -v- Tran – Drugs and Money Laundering. Sam’s successful opposition of the Crown’s application to introduce hearsay evidence using the recently decided case of Al Khawaja resulted in the acquittal of all 5 defendants.
© 2014 Sam Stein QC