While not exactly as serious as drug trafficking, drug supply or possession with intent to supply or conspiracy to supply controlled drugs are also rather serious offences and attract substantial sentences as well on conviction. The severity of the offence and the subsequent sentence are determined by the position the alleged offender occupies on the supply chain. The prosecution breaks this down into three distinct positions: a leadership role, a significant role or lesser involvement. An individual suspected of supplying or dealing drugs as the lead person will be expected to have significant say in the cultivation and/or production of the drugs in question; he or she will also have a fair degree of influence over as well as connections with others on the supply chain. It is also believed that such leaders operate a separate seemingly legitimate business to act as a smoke screen for the trading.
Furthermore, the offence of supply can also be broken down into actual supply, aggravated supply, offer to supply, involvement or concern in supply and possession with intent to supply in accordance with Sec (5)(3) of the Misuse Drug Act 1971. Aggravated supply became an offence in January 2006 and it refers to the existence of surrounding circumstances which may increase the severity of the crime of drug supply. Such circumstances include the supply o drugs within the immediate environment of a school with minors or indeed perpetuating the crime through a minor who is under 18 years of age. The evidence gathered at the time of the arrest and the circumstances will determine the category of supply in which an offender falls.
Possession of controlled drugs carries a more lenient sentence than possession with intent to supply. As such, whereas a guilty plea may be entered where possession is concerned, it is more common to enter a not guilty plea for intention to supply. The argument against the Prosecution’s case will therefore be a lesser charge of possession for personal use which attracts significantly less penalty than possession with intent to deal or supply. The pertinent problem in this regard is however likely to be the existence of circumstantial evidence which may suggest otherwise. The volume of the drugs recovered; the recovery of scales, large volume of cash, Clingfilm, bags and needles may suggest, for example, that the person in possession of the controlled drugs in question is also intending to supply and that the drugs are not for personal use after all.
The onus of proof is on the prosecution in any event and they are mandated by law to provide the defence with any piece of information which may prove detrimental to their case or which may assist in proving the accused person’s innocence or diminished culpability. This is known as disclosure of prosecution material. It is almost understandable that the prosecution may not be willing at times to disclose all their materials to defence solicitors such as us. The concern that it may prove detrimental to their case and adversely affect the outcome is always present.
One of the best criminal solicitors in London – we have extensive experience of arguing material disclosure before the Judge and successfully requesting that so-called sensitive material which may potentially exonerate our clients is released to us. In criminal law, some cases are won and lost at the disclosure stage and we are conscious of this. It is why we insist practically all the time that prosecution material be disclosed to us to enable us adequately prepare for our client’s case.
Sentence for possession with intent to supply
Although in reality, possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply attracts more lenient penalty than drug trafficking, the offence may nevertheless, in very rare cases be punishable by life in prison and/or fine, or up to 14 years in prison and/or fine respectively for Class A drugs and Class B and C. Our drug solicitors will vehemently argue your case to ensure that your trial is fair and that the most favourable result, given the circumstances, is obtained on your behalf. Our extremely knowledgeable and vastly experienced solicitors have been known to be successful in drastically reducing complex drug charges faced by some of our clients to less serious ones. This of course reflects favourably on the conviction and subsequent sentencing of such clients.