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Home Drug Crimes: Personal Use of Cocaine

Possessing/using cocaine and other drugs personally

Drug possession charges almost always carry custodial sentences. Even where the drugs are claimed to b for personal consumption, it is still possible that a drug related criminal offence charge will be brought against the person found to be in possession. This is due to the fact that possession of drugs for personal consumption is also a criminal offence under Sec (5)(2) of the Misuse Drugs Act 1971. For a possession of controlled substance charge to be upheld, the prosecution must be able to evidence that the accused had knowledge of the fact that the controlled drugs was in his or her possession even though there was no intention whatsoever to supply any third party. This offence is valid even where the person in possession is not aware of the fact that the drug in question is illegal or controlled.

In many cases, ignorance of the illegality of the controlled substance may be an impossible plea particularly where it is common knowledge that the substance is illegal. A typical example would be the possession of cocaine. Anyone charged with cocaine possession and subsequently convicted may be looking at a considerable prison sentence depending on the surrounding circumstances. The sentences for drug possession vary based on the class of the substance in question.

Charged with cocaineAnyone charged with a possession of cocaine is facing a prison term


Cocaine is a class A drug and as such, more likely to attract a more stringent sentence than marijuana or cannabis. Punishment for possession of cocaine or indeed possession of any other controlled substance for personal use can be anywhere between 2 to 7 years in prison and/or fine for the different drug classes. The severity of sentencing for drug possession is usually reliant on the class of drugs found on the person and the individual circumstances surrounding the case.

Punishment for Possession of Cocaine

Possession of cocaine is regarded as a very serious offence. Like many other serious crime cases, the trial for drug related offences are usually just as drawn out as the investigations. We always prepare our clients for this and based on the facts of the case available to us, our wealth of experience and knowledge of the law, we are also sometimes able to advice on time estimates and the process a drug possession trial will take. We have found that this tends to give clients who have been charged with possession of controlled substances such as cocaine a rough idea of what is to come and as such reduce however fractionally their anxiety about their cases.

Possession of cocaine with intent to supply and most other serious drug related offence cases such as importation and exportation, and conspiracy to supply drugs can prove very complex and long indeed. This is on account of the fact that the prosecution will want to ensure that they have all the relevant evidence on one hand and on the other, expert legal representation is also needed for the defendant. This is where we come in; to expertly and skilfully defend your drug possession case.

Our criminal defence lawyers are particularly adept at defending cocaine possession and other drug related cases. Our primary goal is to base your defence on grounds that will reflect possibly first on the conviction and subsequently on the sentencing for drug possession. The sentences imposed on conviction of drug offences vary but are usually substantial custodial sentences. Sentencing for the possession, supply, cultivation and/or transportation of drugs is also dependent on the class of the controlled substance the case is about.

For instance, drug possession case involving Class C drugs may not attract more than years in prison and/or fine; whereas anyone found in possession of Class B drugs may be facing up to 5 years in prison. The punishment for possession of Class A drugs such as cocaine is far more stringent and can be up to 7 years in prison and/or fine. The more complex offences such as trafficking or importation and exportation of drugs may attract as high as 14 years imprisonment or even a life sentence depending on the individual circumstances of each case.

Drug possession punishment continues even following conviction and sentencing in some cases. It is also almost always the case that any income, goods or property deemed to have been made and bought with proceeds from the drug offence you have been charged with will be subsequently confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.  An Order for Confiscation may therefore be issued by the court for the offender’s properties believed to have been derived from the proceeds of drug trade to be seized. Our drug solicitors are the best when it comes to defending charges of drug possession, cultivation, supply or any other drug related offence.

We are also deeply knowledgeable about POCA proceedings and our representation extends to this stage; should your matter ever get to this level. We will fight vigorously on your behalf to be able to keep as much of your property as possible. It may prove necessary here for us to base our argument on every piece of information which may serve as mitigating circumstances.


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